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Apple responds to month-long wait for iPad Pro accessories, expecting ‘regular shipments’


With both the iPad Pro’s Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil showing availability of 4-5 weeks, and neither available in-store, Apple has issued a brief statement to Mashable acknowledging the issue and promising ‘regular shipments.’

Customers are very excited for iPad Pro, Apple Pencil and the Smart Keyboard. We have limited supply of Apple Pencil and the Smart Keyboard in Apple Retail stores. Our stores will continue to receive regular shipments and we encourage customers to visit for online availability and delivery dates … 

Availability for the iPad Pro itself is better, with the base model available immediately and the 128GB versions showing typical availability of around a week.

Apple is currently offering the Logitech CREATE keyboard, both online and in-store. I’m trying this at present and will share my views on it on Monday, by which time it will have had a decent amount of use.

A number of other third-party accessories are currently available for the iPad Pro.

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  1. 89p13 - 7 years ago

    I did order the Pencil – online at the Apple store – yesterday and was told it would deliver in about 5 weeks. This doesn’t seem like Apple when considering that Tim Cook’s background is Supply Chain Logistics and that the Pencil was always seen as a Major Selling Point for the iPad Pro.

    It’s not any mission critical for my Pro as I’m still waiting to see what photo-editing software will support it, but I did want to try it.

    Maybe late stage design changes / manufacturing problems? I’m sure the Apple critics will jump on this and brand it some “gate” as they seem so want to do.

    • Mario A Giambanco - 7 years ago

      Mine (pencil and keyboard) show 3-4 weeks but yeah – this is very odd for Apple – I posted a few days ago; I can’t imagine interest in the Pencil and Keyboard would be a 1 to 1 with the iPad Pro (given their price) – but closer then 3-4 weeks (5 in your case) should of been accounted for.

      Not mission critical for sure, but a big part (IMO) of the appeal of the pro is the precision of the Pencil – it’s one of the few reasons I ordered one.

      Probably manufacturing difficulties.

      • What confuses me is I ordered at literally 12:05am just minutes after orders opened, and the main iPad page still didn’t even show orders as opened. My iPad Pro shipped right away and is being delivered today. The Pencil that I ordered at the same time is still two weeks out!

        > Not mission critical for sure, but a big part (IMO) of the appeal of the pro is the precision of the Pencil – it’s one of the few reasons I ordered one.

        This. I really feel like my new iPad is incomplete without the pencil. As an artist the Pencil is practically the whole reason I bought it. The only other real reason was that my existing iPad is the iPad 3, and it was time for an upgrade anyway :)

  2. xprmntr - 7 years ago

    This “gate” stuff has got to be deadened, the watergate scandal wasn’t about water

  3. bdkennedy1 - 7 years ago

    I’ll buy the iPad Pro when the Pencil is available. I just checked and there’s no Pencil available within 100 miles of Dallas. Fail.

  4. Keith R Thompson - 7 years ago

    It’s not hard to imagine in the future eager buyers of the new Apple electric car arriving to pick up their new cars only to be handed the keys and told “Oh, by the way, the batteries will ship in 4-6 weeks.”

  5. It is unfortunate. I was a bit disappointed that it isn’t ready day 1, but I am conversely glad that they didn’t hold up the iPad Pro’s availability while waiting for the accessory’s supply chain issues to be sorted.

    It will just be a more prolonged Apple holiday this year. Opened the iPad Pro present yesterday… we’ll get another present again later and have some more new fun.

    Apple sometimes tends to over-estimate their shipping, so that when they ship earlier than the estimate, it appears to be better-than-predicted, rather than looking worse for overshooting tight estimates.

    It may be a month… it may be a bit quicker as a pleasant surprise.

  6. taoprophet420 - 7 years ago

    Apples piled waited to release the Pro until it had a adequate supply of keyboards and pencils.

  7. Charlypollo - 7 years ago

    They didn’t expect people to pay the stupidly high price for the iStylus, so they weren’t prepared. Simple as that. Foxconn workers must be on 18 hours shifts to cover the unexpected demand.

  8. Don Wise (@doncwise) - 7 years ago

    I was disappointed once again by walking into an actual Apple Retail Store this morning where I believed they had the 128GB iPad Pro, only to be told they were sold out? So the website data once again was incorrect; which makes me wonder, why bother doing retail at all if this is the way it’s going to be every time there’s a new rollout? Hence the online order this morning, only to find the exact issue posted here…extensive delays in obtaining the keyboard and pencil until late December?

    It’s episodes like this that make me wonder whether I want to continue playing in the Apple sandbox for future rollouts and I’ll just continue using what I have until they’re obsolete or no longer work.

    Apple has to get better at this.

    • Dana Bruce Smith - 7 years ago

      Not to put too fine a point on it but: if you saw in-store availability for the item online, a purchase then and there would have ensured that the item was in the store to be picked up. That’s the way I’ve purchased my last two iPhones and it worked a treat — in and out in ten minutes.

      As for the delays on keyboard and pencil, well, I think that Apple has just gotten so successful that they think they can do whatever they like and we’ll just accommodate them. Regrettably, it’s true more often than not.

      • Don Wise (@doncwise) - 7 years ago

        Unfortunately, there was no ability to do the pickup using the website button as it was greyed out; the site just said it was available at the store. Frustrating.

    • Elmore Leonard - 7 years ago

      Seriously? This has got your panties all twisted about? There are more concerns in this world than a freaking iPad and pencil, like people getting killed in Paris. Grow up.

      • srgmac - 7 years ago

        There are people starving in North Korea pretty much 24/7 — some of them are forced to work and die in labor camps and they are not given medical attention, health care, and in some cases, basic food and water and other necessities. Because these things are happening is not an excuse to accept poor customer service, especially considering the prices Apple are charging for these things. Get your head out of your ass; the two situations have nothing in common whatsoever, stop trying to make an analogy fit where it doesn’t. The farm called, they want their straw man back.

    • srgmac - 7 years ago

      Interesting — it said it was available in the store and it wouldn’t let you reserve one online? I wonder what that is all about…That’s pretty much the whole point of their in-stock online notification system. I wonder how it could be possible that it’s giving you wrong information…everything is in a database somewhere, when it queries the stock it should be in real time…at least one would think.

  9. Daniel Perván - 7 years ago

    The keyboard isn’t even available for order at all in Scandinavia.

  10. fromNY2LA (@onestopnyc) - 7 years ago

    Here is the problem. If you were buying the iPad Pro to be used with the pencil and the keyboard but it will take more than 2 weeks to get it, you are then stuck if you wanted to return the iPad sine the return window is 14 days.

    • Andrew King - 7 years ago

      Actually, Apple’s holiday return policy started November 1st, so you have until January to return everything. Well within that 4-5 week ship timeframe.

  11. Team,

    I hope you are all as excited as our customers are about our new iPad Pro, which is shipping today. I wanted to let you know about a practical joke that the iPad Pro launch team is going to play on potential customers: not shipping our amazing and essential iPad Pro accessories, including the Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard, both of which will be prominently featured in the outstanding major advertising campaign that we’re about to roll out!! Apparently our factories in China only manufactured a few demo units before the launch date – isn’t that crazy? Fortunately our partners at Samsung and Microsoft are more than happy to sell tablets with their advertised stylus and keyboard on Black Friday and during the upcoming holiday season, so it’s a win-win situation for nearly everyone except the launch team, who have announced their resignation in order to pursue some great new opportunities. I’d like to thank them personally for their service to Apple over the years.


    • Elmore Leonard - 7 years ago

      You are seriously a dip$hit.

    • srgmac - 7 years ago

      LOL! I laughed — This is yet another Apple launch failure…not as bad as the Watch, but seriously up there…These new accessories are the up-sells of the iPad Pro! Especially the pencil! What are they thinking? They announced this back in September FFS, it’s almost December…

    • Brett Tracy - 7 years ago

      To be fair I guarantee you it’s next to impossible to keep up with the demand for these products when a new Apple product comes out especially an iOS device people everybody wants it they want it so bad and half of them don’t even know why they want it they just want it

  12. drjgelb - 7 years ago

    I bought my Pencil on Friday at a reseller! Smart Keyboard was sold out …..the reseller received 2!

  13. Mel Gross - 7 years ago

    My experience was a bit odd, but mainly happy. I ordered two 128 space grey LTE ipad Pros very early Wednesday morning, along with two Pencils. It said that the iPads would arrive the following Monday, and the Pencils between the 20th and 30th. To my great surprise, the iPads arrived late Thursday afternoon, along with the two Verizon SIM cards I ordered. I have hopes that the Pencils will also arrive before the times given.

    My theory is that there was some difficulty in the manufacturing process for both the Pencils and the keyboards. Otherwise, Apple seriously underestimated the number that would be ordered. Since they’re pushing the Pencil as a major part of the use model for this, I would be surprised at that.

  14. wookiephobia - 7 years ago

    Great, so it will arrive well past the return period for the iPad itself so if it turns out the pencil is garbage I’m stuck with a giant iPad. I could wait of course but then I’ll miss all the holiday financing and trade in deals. Smooth.

  15. srgmac - 7 years ago

    Another Apple failure — they announced this like what, two months ago? Come on…Enough of this already!

  16. Thai Michael Tran - 7 years ago

    Sounds like a tactical ploy from apple to me. Either they are trying to encourage sales of the logitech keyboard as they are working together, or they are trying to create a huge demand for the ipad pro and pen… apple are truly marketing geniuses…

  17. tangfish - 7 years ago

    I have both the Apple Pencil and the Smart Keyboard for my iPad Pro. The Smart Keyboard is a disaster. It is finicky at best in terms of being recognized by the iPad Pro (the virtual keyboard keeps popping up, rendering the hardware keyboard useless). On top of that, the Smart Keyboard has caused my iPad to become completely unresponsive twice now. Thankfully I found a way to reboot it by connecting it to iTunes. Still, it’s a serious POS. Do not get the Apple Smart Keyboard, mine is going back to the Apple Store.

    • Chris (@ChrisMoyerIs) - 7 years ago

      You may want to take your unit into a store and have them check sit out. My keyboard and iPad Pro are working flawlessly thus far (3 days use). The Apple keyboard is much lighter than the Logitech and better suited for my purposes. The Logitech is good too (i used one for a couple weeks). It completely encased the iPad for better protection but was also very heavy.

  18. Brett Tracy - 7 years ago

    I lucked out checked Apple Store app and got the last pencil in their inventory as a local Apple Store if they have it in stock you can buy it through the app and pick it up at the store though I just lucked out I haven’t seen it available hardly at all


Avatar for Ben Lovejoy Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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