When I arrived at 2:30 p.m., there were about 400 people were in line. The line quickly wrapped around back to itself as others joined the ranks. The mall personnel offered water to those in line to keep them hydrated. Compared to those in other cities, like New York, they had it made. I talked to a few people and there was a mixed bunch of current iPad lovers, those hoping to get the iPad for the first time, and even a few that were still unsure. There were a lot of people that were caught off guard with all of the hoopla.
TJ, the earliest to arrive, was in line to get his second iPad. He was the earlier one there, but since no line had started yet; he waited until others arrived. He was getting a 64GB Black 3G model ; however, he hadn't yet decided which carrier would be the one to get the chance to bill him. Being third in line would prove to have it rewards; others had to choose between what was left. Then there was Jeff, one of newbies. He was getting a 16GB Black Wi-Fi model. Jasmine (that was not here real name) was with her daughter, who named her Jasmine when she hesitated too long to give me a name. She had purchased a 3G Black iPad 1 a month ago, but was able to return it to Best Buy when she heard the iPad 2 was announced. She would upgrade to the same, but only in the iPad 2 framed goodies. Dee and her two friends were all getting various models/ I shared with them my experience my iPad and shared some app choices as well. There plenty of people here and they were pretty excited and for the most part pretty friendly.
"What's being given away for free?", many asked as they wondered what this ever growing line was all about. "Is there an actor?", others asked. Apple sure knows how to create a market buzz. Many passerbys got a lesson in the Apple market machine and left wondering what exact this "iPad" was all about. I am sure many will return at a later date to sneak a peak, but not today. If you aren't in line, no iPad 2 for you! The iPad was definitely the star of the show.
With just a few minutes until the doors would open, we could hear shouts of joy behind the black curtain that covered the windows. The black tarp, that had hidden the goodies in the Apple store, dropped about two minutes to 5 p.m. and the crowd went wild with the traditional encouragement from the boisterous and well rehearsed Apple store employees. Minutes later the doors opened up and the Apple Geniuses applauded and welcomed the first group of anxious customers like they were rock stars going on stage. Clapping, high-fives, whooping and shouts rang on a solid two minutes.
Outside the Apple Store in New York, college student Amanda Foote sold her first-in-line spot for $900, according to the Daily Mail. The Daily Mail reported Foote had been in line since 5 p.m. Wednesday. I saw know evidence that this occurred at the Novi Apple store.
Kevin and his son Justin were the first out the door with their new 16GB White Wi-Fi iPad. The white iPads proved to be very popular and they sold out of them in a half an hour. Apple does a great job of moving people through the sales process. I found a see on one of the series of couches that were available. I met a gentleman named Preston that realized that there would be line, but hadn't banked on it being this long. We talked about the old PDA days; the days of the Bat belts with multiple devices to carry and of Franklin Planners with holders for our gadgets. Oh how quickly times have changed, the gadget is not the thing that holds the Franklin Planner material. He spoke of converting his non-techie wife to a text messaging lover of the smartphone and all of it's magical powers. Preston was hoping that the lines would die down, but that didn't do so in the hour that we sat and talked. In fact, it was replaced a entirely different group of people who was just as eager to get their hands on the new iPad2. When we parted, he was still hoping to get his two 64GB Black iPads for himself and his wife.
An off duty and out of state Apple employee (who did not want to be photographed for obvious reasons) was syncing his 64GB black iPad to his Mac Air. I got to hold it for a few minutes. Since it was syncing, I was not able to run any apps. I did; however, get to play with the Smart Cover. It is a very nice cover and the magnets are strong and very effective.
More Pictures can be viewed here.
Carl W. Brooks
iAmThereforeiPad, Founder and Chief Editor
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