iPad 2 could see shortages outside of flagship Regent Street store

How many in the long Apple Store Regent’s Street queue are going to go home empty handed? Probably very few for the dedicated early adopters, but the rest of the country could face a let-down.

Over in the States, an Apple store inGenius confirmed to a journalist that plenty Apple stores only received a third of the shipments they were expecting.

While its flagship store in London sees keen buyers forming a neat and jolly queue as they line up to hand over at least £399 of their dosh, Apple stores in the States received as little as 10 models – all WiFi only.

A psychology expert suggested to CNET  that controlling the supply of Apple’s fruity devices plays on a part of the subconscious psyche held in all of us called “loss aversion”. This means that if a customer has been having a tough time tracking down anything, including an iPad 2, the “unconscious mind is running a process to protect us a lot of the time” which is loss aversion, and it tries to make us feel ok in the future.

So if a product is easily available the customer is worrying about finding the best deals. But if a customer goes to a company with a tight control on supplies, he or she is more likely to be so glad to find it they’ll snap it up at whatever the cost. Kind of like Arnie in Jingle All The Way.

With a low stock, Philip Graves, the psychologist who talked to CNET suggests that heightened desirability is also implicit. It makes the desired item seem more attractive and that in turn gives the product a “wow” factor.

According to Firebox, which is down at the queue, there are about 500 people in line right now.

Whatever the reasons for Apple reportedly slow-leaking the product into its markets, there’s a chance that component shortages weeks ago could hold influence. As we said last week, a simple search for the word “shortage” on our website will give you a hint.