98% of U.S. Apple Retail Stores Out of Stock of Apple TV [Updated]

Last week, we noted that shortages of the Apple TV at third-party retailers had begun spreading to Apple itself, with a number of the company's own retail stores reporting that the set-top box was unavailable for immediate in-store pickup. With a part number for a product with the code name of "J33" and known to be the next-generation Apple TV also surfacing last week, it certainly appears that an update is imminent.

With Apple's iPad 3 media event now roughly 36 hours away and Apple also expected to unveil an updated Apple TV at the event, we've been watching as more and more Apple retail stores are running dry of the current model. By our most recent count, 98% of Apple's 246 U.S. stores are currently out of stock, leaving only four with the Apple TV available for immediate pickup during store hours:

- San Francisco flagship (San Francisco, California)
- Higuera Street (San Luis Obispo, California)
- SoHo (New York, New York)
- South Hills Village (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)

A fifth store, the Valley Fair location in Santa Clara, California, was showing "in stock" status for the Apple TV just a few hours ago but is now simply listing the product as "unavailable for pickup".

For those retail stores currently out of stock, the earliest an online store order placed today could be available for pickup would be March 9, although some stores are quoting pickup dates as far out as March 15. These lead times are, however, fairly typical for out of stock products that need to be shipped to a store for pickup. But being so close to Wednesday's media event suggests that any orders would be filled with the new model.

Apple's U.S. online store does continue to show "in stock" availability for the Apple TV. Customers selecting free or 2 business day shipping are being quoted a delivery estimate of Thursday, March 8, while next-day shipping could see an arrival on Wednesday, March 7, the day of the event. It seems likely, however, that Apple would at this point also stall on shipping direct delivery orders until Wednesday's announcement.

A number of Apple's other online stores around the world are still quoting "in stock" status for the Apple TV, although some have slipped by a few days ahead of the event. Online stores in Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Norway, and the United Kingdom are currently showing 2-4 business days for shipping estimates, while those in Austria, Canada, France, Germany, Mexico, and Switzerland are quoting 1-2 business days.

Rumors and speculation have suggested that Apple will be delivering a new, more powerful model of the Apple TV on Wednesday, offering support for 1080p video to complement the ultra-high resolution display on the new iPad. Apple may also roll out updated iTunes Store video content at the higher resolution.

Update: The San Francisco and San Luis Obispo stores are now also out of stock of the Apple TV, leaving only SoHo and South Hills Village with immediate availability of the device.

Update 2: With just over 13 hours to go until the media event, the SoHo store is now also out of stock of the Apple TV. Pittsburgh's South Hills Village store is now the only U.S. location with the current Apple TV in stock for immediate pickup ahead of the event.

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Top Rated Comments

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103 months ago

You guys actually checked all 246 stores?

What. You think these guys sit in the back room all day playing cards ?

Rating: 33 Votes
103 months ago
On the bright side, 2% of US Apple Retail Stores have Apple TV in stock. :D
Rating: 27 Votes
103 months ago

You guys actually checked all 246 stores?

The plane tickets alone must've cost a fortune!
Rating: 23 Votes
103 months ago
Anyone else think the thing "you have to see" on the invite was the apple tv, and to touch is the new iPad?
Rating: 16 Votes
103 months ago
I'm really looking forward to an iPad 3/HD and an Apple TV 3 with full 1080p AirPlay mirroring! This is the only reason I haven't gotten an Apple TV yet. Please don't disappoint on Wednesday.
Rating: 16 Votes
103 months ago
1080p Apple TV combined with an iPad HD with AirPlay Mirroring capabilities is going to bring up some great possibilities. :)
Rating: 14 Votes
103 months ago
if the appletv and the ipad are updated, apple is about to get a cool 800+ from me soon..

damn my apple addiction...
Rating: 13 Votes
103 months ago

----- HD doesn't make much difference to me because my living room projector is only 720p. ------ .

stop the production line - a tall man in NY still has a 720 projector - absolutely no need for an upgrade at this time.
Rating: 10 Votes
103 months ago
The one thing I am hoping is a clear upgrade path for people who already own movies from iTunes; for both SD and HD owners. Just like how Apple upgraded the music library to iTunes Plus, they should have a partial fee to upgrade SD content to the new 1080p contnet (if that becomes true). And hopefully, 720p owners get access to 1080p versions on their existing content for free.
Rating: 10 Votes
103 months ago
A dongle as the Apple TV wouldn't work. You need at least 4GB of flash storage just to be able to support the cache for streaming any 1080P video and the OS that runs the media GUI.
Also the dongle would need an optical Toslink audio port out for people that use sound systems for the 5.1 audio. There isn't enough saturation of HDTV's with 5.1 speakers to keep the dongle from not having the port.
Also you would need a mini-USB port for servicing.
It could be built into a television set though.

I think we will see the same black puck with the Apple A5 SOC in it.

As far as "true 1080P" video this might not be the case. a two hour video that is 1080P @24fps takes up a good 6-10 GB of data and would require a beefy broadband connection. Apple wants to get this to the average consumer with broadband so I'm going to guess 1080i.

They may offer something along the lines of what Amazon does with HDR or HDX video for a premium price.
Rating: 9 Votes

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