Shoppers Snatch Up iPads at Broomfield, Boulder Apple Stores

Apple’s long awaited iPad finally hit store shelves on Saturday, April 3rd, with many people lining up well ahead of the 9AM start time. In Colorado, interest in the multimedia tablet was high, although cold temperatures kept most people away from camping out in overnight lines.

Shoppers began lining up at the 29th Street Crossing Apple Store in Boulder at about 2PM Friday afternoon with a couple employees from the heavy duty iPhone case maker Otterbox, but by 10PM the line included only a small handful of people. Temperatures in the mid 30s and winds likely kept shoppers away, just as they did at the Aspen Grove Apple Store in Littleton.

First in line: Matt, Chad, Lauren, Rick, Michelle and Ray

Several people, however, camped outside Broomfield’s Flatiron Crossing Apple Store in their cars. The mall prohibited shoppers from lining up in front of the store before 7AM Saturday morning.

“We’ve been here since midnight,” said iPad buyers Matt and Chad. “The security guards said we couldn’t come in the mall, but it was OK to wait in the parking lot.”

Erica and other soon to be iPad owners

By 8AM the Flatiron Crossing Apple Store iPad line included about 70 people, and by 9AM when the store doors opened, the line had grown to about 200.

Apple offered iPad buyers personal assistance with setting up their iPads, including help with setting up email accounts, installing applications, and tips on how to use thud multimedia tablet’s features. Despite the potentially long amounts of time employees might have to spend with customers, creating serious bottlenecks for other shoppers, the lines moved quickly and most people were out of the store with iPad in hand in only about ten minutes after stepping into the store.

The Flatiron Cross staff leads the crowd in

The first people in line, however, spent about an hour with employees setting up their iPads. Since most shoppers were buying their iPads and promptly leaving the store, there were still plenty of employees to handle the constant flow of customers.

Apple’s Boulder store, while it did have iPad buyers lining up the afternoon before the launch, didn’t seem to have as much traffic after the launch. Shoppers were able to get into the store without much of a wait by mid morning and employees were able to keep up with the store’s traffic.

Matt and Chad show off their new iPads

Many of the iPad buyers that reserved 16GB and 32GB models found they wanted the 64GB model after they arrived at the store — a situation that Apple apparently anticipated. Everyone that wanted to purchase a higher capacity model was able to, and the majority of the shoppers leaving the Flatiron Crossing store walked out with a 64GB iPad in hand.

“[The Apple staff] was really helpful and said it wasn’t a problem when I wanted the bigger iPad instead of the 32GB one I reserved,” Matt told The Mac Observer.

The iPad buyers TMO spoke with all seemed immediately impressed with the tablet’s screen, speed and on-screen keyboard. The onscreen keyboard performed well enough, in fact, for this article. The photos, however, required a little help from a MacBook Pro.

Sent from my iPad because I live in the future.