It’s been over a week since I’ve had my iPad Pro, and I’ve still yet to snag an Apple Pencil or a Smart Keyboard. The prospects of obtaining either of the vital iPad Pro peripherals from Apple’s online store doesn’t seem good. Shipments are currently slated 4-5 weeks out in most cases, and in store personal pickup doesn’t even appear as an option when checking out.
The situation is so bad that eBay scalpers are taking advantage and selling the Apple Pencil for double and sometimes triple the price. Needless to say, it’s a frustrating situation for iPad Pro early adopters wishing to make full use of the new hardware.
But not all hope is lost for those of you hoping to snag a reasonably priced Apple Pencil or a Smart Keyboard before late December or early January. I’ve seen several reports of folks that have been able to walk in store and pick up one or both products, even though Apple’s online store was showing out of stock. According to an Apple employee that I recently spoke to, Apple is receiving frequent shipments of both products and selling out almost as fast as it can re-up.
Thankfully, there is a way that you can check your store’s local inventory before making the trip. Instead of risking disappointment, use this handy tip before you venture out in order to up the chance of scoring an Apple Pencil, Smart Keyboard, or if you’re particularly fortunate, both.
How to check local Apple Store inventory
Note: this service is available between 4 a.m. PST to 10 p.m. PST
Step 1: Open the Apple Online Store Chat
Step 2: Tell the rep your location and local store name
Step 3: Tell the rep the product you’re looking for, i.e. Apple Pencil
Step 4: Give the representative time to check local inventory, and they will get back with you to let you know what’s in stock
Here is a transcript of my recent chat. Unfortunately, Apple Pencils are still out of stock at my local store, but as you can see, the Smart Keyboard is available locally, even though the Apple Store app and Apple online store report that personal pickup isn’t available.
As the representative noted in the chat above, this isn’t a guarantee of availability, since the store can sell out before you arrive to make your purchase. Yet, short of knowing an Apple retail employee at your local store, it’s the best option we have.
Are you an iPad Pro owner? Have you been able to score either of its two flagship accessories?