Apple today once again lowered iPad 2 shipping estimates in many of its online stores around the world, now citing 1-2 weeks for new orders in those markets. Shipping estimates had peaked at 4-5 weeks, but a series of drops brought the window down to 2-3 weeks early this month, and the new decrease suggests that Apple is indeed getting its arms around the supply-demand balance for the popular tablet device.
The new 1-2 week estimates have gone into effect for Apple's online stores in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia, and New Zealand, but the company's stores for European countries are still reflecting 2-3 week estimates. The company does typically maintain separate distribution systems for its North American, European, and Asian markets, making variations in shipping estimates not unusual, although it seems reasonable to assume that European markets should see similar improvements in iPad 2 availability going forward.
Update: Apple's online stores for European countries are now also showing the updated 1-2 week shipping estimates for new iPad 2 orders.