The iPad is now officially on sale in ten countries around the world, with early results suggesting it will be just as big globally as it has been in the US – where one million were sold in its first month.
We reported on the local lines and hoopla on Friday, but the excitement didn’t end there. Australian iPads continued to sell over the weekend, with The Daily Telegraph reporting that Apple apparently sold 30,000 on Friday, with another 20,000 expected to sell on Saturday and Sunday. Of course, without any official figures from Apple, it’s difficult to tell how accurate these estimates are.
Despite apparent shortages in the US, Apple appears to have been able to supply enough stock for initial demand in the extra countries. However, stores were low on some stock: the 16GB Wi-Fi + 3G has been hard to come by, with few Australian resellers receiving any of the base 3G model. It’s unclear whether this was a result of increased popularity or some other problem in the supply chain. The cynics amongst us might suggest that it gave Apple and resellers an excuse to upsell to the fans waiting in line.
Meanwhile, the scenes in the UK were unsurprisingly similar to the local launch: Apple Stores opened an hour early and many had queues building prior to the doors opening at 8am, with the flagship Regent Street store attracting the biggest crowds and press attention.
Shop doors opened at 8am sharp, with delirious staff counting down the seconds, then whooping and cheering as the doors were opened and the first person in the queue — 17-year-old Jake Lee — entered the Store. Lee was promptly mobbed by Apple Store staff and ushered into the shop. Upon leaving the Store, Lee had no comment to make, other than to say he’d been up for 24 hours, and was very tired.
Apple employees inside the Regent Street store count down the seconds until the iPad’s 8am launch.
Security at the Regent Street store was tight, with up to seven security guards and three police officers manning the immediate front of the store, with many more security staff stationed in Hanover Street, where the queue continues.
Actor Stephen Fry was among the many Apple fans to get an iPad on the first day of availability in the UK.
It wasn’t just the Apple Stores with big lines, as fans queued at Apple resellers around the country. A number of UK resellers agreed that the most popular model was the 3G iPad. However, there was a split in the capacity requirements from the east to the west of the country, with those further west opting for the 16GB 3G iPad, and those nearer London choosing the 64GB 3G iPad.
In Canada, the launch was a more subdued affair, with many Canadians presumably having already gotten their hands on stock from the US. Apple’s flagship store in Toronto saw a small, orderly, and enthusiastic crowd greeting the 8am opening with cheers and happy chatter. Notably absent were fans dressed as their favourite Apple device, people wearing homemade iPod jewellery, or the bleary eyes that identify those who had camped out all night, but at least there was plenty of coffee on hand.
The crowd outside the Apple Store at Toronto’s Yorkdale Mall was smaller than many of its global counterparts, but no less enthusiastic.
A smaller crowd meant a much more relaxed atmosphere, with Apple Store employees chatting with customers awaiting their turn into the store. Meanwhile, those who had just received their iPads stood outside, unpacking their new gadgets and comparing their app purchases.
Inside the store, customers wrangled with the agony of choice between the various models, accessories and cases. While store employees wouldn’t release any numbers, sales seemed brisk and there was plenty of stock on hand.