Make no mistake, the iPad 2 is a decent upgrade over the original version. But if you take it at face value, from a strictly boiled down user-experience point of view, it's closer to a 1.5 product than a 2.0. When you look at it head on, you're seeing the same screen. When you hold it, it's thinner and slightly lighter, but not mind bendingly so. The chip is faster, but the majority of current apps don't need that much horsepower. The cameras are serviceable, but pedestrian, if not a bit outdated. Apple has trained us to expect a new iteration of their iOS devices once a year. Perhaps a year isn't quite enough time to put together a truly 2.0 product. Or maybe it is enough time, but Apple wants us to upgrade every year and is spoon feeding us a trickle of the juicier features to keep us hooked. They wouldn't be the first company to do this. So if you're Apple, and your 2.0 product is really more of a 1.5 product, how do you go about making it seem like a much bigger deal than it actually is? You alter the buying experience, forcing people into long lines that look great on blogs and local news. You constrict the supply line to give the illusion of short supply and huge demand. And you keep all your employees in the dark as to what to expect and when. The latter is nothing new for Apple. Secrecy is their M.O. Apple has mastered the art of manipulating the cult of mystery and desire. But there seem to be some new tactics at work here. Never before have there been no pre-orders. Never before have Apple mandated that lines form OUTSIDE stores or that sales could only begin at 5pm on a Friday (aka rush hour, when the largest possible volume of people will walk/drive past Apple stores and see the massive lines on full display). Sure, previous iPhones and even the previous iPad sold out, but not so immediately, and not so widely. Here in NYC, every Apple store is claiming they're sold out. But I spoke with an Apple employee today, inquiring about when a new shipment might arrive. He said they may get them today (Saturday), but because of the mayhem it would cause, they wouldn't put them out for sale today. They'd wait til tomorrow, form a line, and sell them then. If that doesn't sound like engineered distribution, I don't know what does. In the past, Apple has sold what they have, when they have it. They didn't sit on merchandise for the sake of preventing chaos. I think Apple marketing took a hard look at what they had with the iPad 2. They determined it's really a 1.5 product and may not have quite enough steam to ward off competitors for another year until an iPad 3 comes out. They decided it was time for some tried and true smoke and mirrors. Basketball players dribble to buy time. Apple is dribbling too. They're literally dribbling out the iPad 2. This has a nice dual effect. It creates buzz and desire, putting the iPad into just enough hands to make it seem hot. But it also keeps it out of the hands of just enough people to prevent it from seeming like a by-the-numbers upgrade, which, if you subscribe to calling it an iPad 1.5, it's just south of by-the-numbers for a 2.0 product. People are easy to manipulate. We want what we can't have far more than what we can have. And when we get what we want, we talk it up to others who don't have it, painting it larger than life. This gives us a false sense of superiority over others who pine for what we have. This is playground psychology 101. Community college marketing professors know this basic stuff and so does Apple, and alot more.