May 1 is known as May Day or International Workers' Day -- but after the 2010 installment of this quasi-holiday, I'm ready to start calling it Christmas Jr.

You see, this weekend consumers flocked to malls both virtual and physical in numbers you would normally only expect around the year-end holidays. The Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPad was flying off the shelves at Apple and Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) stores alike, ushered on by promises of a magical connected experience wherever the AT&T (NYSE: T) 3G network can stretch. That's the first and most obvious contributor to the new tradition I'm proposing.

The second one might come as a bit of a shock unless you've been paying close attention to hardware news: Verizon (NYSE: VZ) Wireless scraped its shelves bare of the freshly launched Droid Incredible smartphone, made by HTC and powered by Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) Android software. On Friday, Verizon's online store said that Droid Incredible phones ordered that day would be shipped by May 7. Now, the arrival date is May 14. Many other Verizon stores are left empty-handed, too.

The Droid Incredible's popularity may have been a surprise to Verizon because the big, red service provider hasn't blasted our airwaves with commercials for this model with the same ferocity it did for the Motorola (NYSE: MOT) Droid last year. But there are several reasons why this shortage shouldn't have caught anybody unaware.

  • This phone is the closest thing you'll get to a Nexus One with a Verizon service contract. Many Verizon fans have probably held off on picking up a Nexus until the phone came around to their favorite network. Sorry, Deutsche Telekom, but your T-Mobile service is not exactly a selling point in today's wireless world.
  • The Droid Incredible features an advanced OLED screen. OLED factories are few and far between until segment leaders like Samsung and LG Display (NYSE: LPL) can complete their planned or ongoing factory expansions; current production yield may simply not be big enough to support a megahit -- yet.

Given the OLED constraint and Verizon's half-hearted marketing effort, I'd be surprised if the Incredible has sold in anything near the volume of the iPad so far. Reports are that there were sellouts at Verizon outlets in part because of very low inventory; some stores received fewer than a dozen phones. In total, we're probably talking about tens of thousands of handsets here, not millions. Still, this was a successful launch that shows demand for finely crafted Android phones. Expect to see more events like this one throughout the year and beyond.

Merry mini-Christmas!

Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares in Google, but he holds no other position in any of the companies discussed here. Best Buy is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick. Google is a Rule Breakers selection. Apple and Best Buy are Stock Advisor recommendations. Motley Fool Options has recommended a bull call spread position on Best Buy. The Fool owns shares of Best Buy. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days.You can check out Anders' holdings and a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.