iPad Tales from the Queue
Queueing at Apple's flagship London Store on Regent Street begun Thursday evening for the iPad launch, and by the time the Store opened Friday morning, the line of people stretched round the corner of the Store and up Hanover Street.
We caught up with some dedicated iPad buyers to see why they'd got up so early to join the queue.
Frode Fjeld, 37, is a doctor from Norway. "I got here at 5:30 this morning, but I think the people in the front got here at 7 or 8 yesterday evening," he said. "I'm going to get a 64GB 3G version. I will use it for books and photos mainly. I will probably use it at work too - there will be apps designed for the medical profession I'm sure."
Brian, a 43-year-old computer programmer from London said he'd been told he was number 141 in the queue. "I was going to get a WiFi version, but I think I've changed my mind and will go for the 3G version. Just so that if I am away on holiday and want to use the internet, I'll be able to."
He was also keen to try the iPad for reading. "I think I'll use it for watching movies and reading books. There's a really good comic reader for it too. I'll also play games. I play a lot of games on my iPhone, but this will be better."
Reading on the iPad was a common theme among customers - indicating that Apple's iBookstore could be a massive hit with iPad users in the UK, if the full service is launched here. Ivo Dantas, as 22-year-old journalist from Brazil, said: "I want to get an iPad because of the browsing experience and because of the reader. I have read lots of reviews and a friend of mine went to the US and touched one and he said books on it are amazing and I have to buy one!"
Dantas was looking forward to taking his iPad home. "I have been in London for one month. I'm picking up an iPad now and then tomorrow I leave for Brazil!"
Aside from movies, photos, and reading, some people are already thinking about other ways the iPad will be used.
Chris McBride, 38, a film producer from London said: "I can imagine driving round in a minibus full of people and showing location information on it. It'll be phenomenal."
"I'll use it for watching movies on flights, and at home for RSS feeds. I must admit it's kind of a luxury item."
He also said that it's best to get the top-end model when buying Apple kit. "I'm going to get a 64GB 3G version. In the past when I've bought Apple products I lived to regret not paying for more memory. In three months time I won't miss the extra £100!""
At 55 Steve Bowles, a financial advisor from Chelmsford, is the same age as Steve Jobs. But Chelmsford Steve isn't really into computers, but was nonetheless brandishing a launch-day iPad. "I wanted something that is a recreational device, and I like the fact that you can put iPhoto on it, and I want to use it for reading so I don't have to cart lots of books around. Accessing books and downloading them looks to be very simple."
Bowles also stated the user's perception of the device sets it apart from other computers. "It's not a work device. When you're at work you've got your desk job and you use your emails and whatever else. In your mind that's to do with work. I wanted a computer that's just for fun, that I can use as a recreational device. It fills a gap, it's totally different in the market."
Product mentioned in this article
Apple iPad with Wi-Fi 32GB
Apple looks set to shake up casual computing with a tablet that offers clever design and ease of use. But that streamlined approach may also be the iPad's weakness.