They Came, They Waited, They Bought - A New iPad That Is

| Computing with Bifocals

The first one arrived at 5AM. The last 500 went home empty handed. But several hundred got a new iPad 2 Friday at the Barton Creek Mall Apple Store in Austin, TX. Another few hundred got one at the Pop-up store in downtown Austin, created for the South by Southwest event. When I left there at 8PM there were still close to 100 waiting in line.

Across town at The Domain Apple Store several hundred more got their iPad 2 fix.

iPad 2Shoppers lined up early across the U.S. for the iPad 2

I wandered up and down the line at the Barton Creek Mall Apple Store, talking to people to see why they were there, why they wanted the iPad 2, and why it was worth it to them to wait in line.

Carmen, who was the first in line, told me that her husband is going to Europe for several weeks and she was buying two so that their family could communicate using face time while they were apart. This iPad 2 will be Carmen’s first ever Apple product purchase. At the time we spoke she had already been in line ten hours, but she was still excited to be there.

The second person was Ann and Ann had a big grin on her face. She said she had been waiting since Christmas to get her first iPad because she saw one a friend had. Ann has an iPod touch, but has never used a Mac. Ann got in line around 7AM.

Also arriving at 7AM was an old friend of mine named John. John currently has the first generation iPad, but said he needs the advanced features of the new version because he uses it for his business. He wants to edit “laying back in a comfortable chair using iMovie on the iPad.” 

Next was the student who wants to carry the iPad to class rather than his MacBook Pro. And the young man who really, really hates standing in line, but he’s leaving town tomorrow with a 17 hour flight ahead of him and can’t imagine surviving the flight without a new iPad.

One young man is a school teacher who currently has a first generation iPad that he uses for all of his classes as a teaching tool. He projects from his iPad to a screen. He wants the new iPad because of new features and speed.

There were some definite trends that I noticed as I visited with people. A lot of people were buying their first Apple product. And I do mean a lot.

At least half dozen guys were buying the second generation iPad and passing down the first generation (their words, not mine) to their significant other. A few guys were waiting in line to buy an iPad 2 as a surprise gift for girl friends or sisters.

Not one person said they were getting a 16GB version, but numerous people said they were upgrading from the size they got for the iPad 1.

The thing that surprised me the most was the large number of buyers who have never used Apple products before and how many of the previous users were upgrading the sizes of their new iPads.

As for me, I am taking my new iPad 2, which I upgraded in size and just finished syncing, off for some get acquainted time.


Lee Dronick

I bought mine on Friday at 6:00 PM and there were 2 people ahead of me in line. I am retired Navy and can shop at the military Exchanges/PXs so I got mine at the local Marine Corp Base. The clerk said that were was quite a queue waiting for the 5:00 PM start time, but didn’t give me actual numbers.

I pondered on which model to buy and ended up with a 16GB, black, WiFi only. Price wasn’t much of a factor, I could have afforded one more memory and 3G, but didn’t think I needed it. Time will tell

Saturday morning I went to the Fashion Valley Apple Store to get a Smart Cover. There was 8-10 or so people in line for iPads and I could here that some models were sold out, but did not make a mental note of which ones.

The store was busy and a number of us were shopping for Smart Covers. I wanted to feel the texture on the leather and polyurethane covers. I was not alone in that desire and we had a nice group of customers and one patient staffer passing the cases around. Neither my wife or I could find a discernible difference in the texture between the two types of cases. I ended up with the red leather Smart Case because I liked the color the best. I also bought a camera connection kit.


Sir Harry, I can’t remember, is this your first iPad?

Did you find any Pentalobes on it?


Lee Dronick

Sir Harry, I can?t remember, is this your first iPad?

Did you find any Pentalobes on it?

Yes this is my first iPad.

I can’t find any pentalobes on it, no lobes at all and I can’t figure out how they would open it short of prying the seams. The magnets perhaps?


I’m surprised you didn’t use the ol’ trick knee to get to the head of the line, Sir Harry, but then anticipation is pleasure lost to the younger generation, I’m always being told. If you are not a gamer I think the 16GB should suffice. Mean and lean keeps a tidier house as in “I mean to clean the house but the mess is getting in the way”.

Lee Dronick

I just read here on The MacObserver that iFixIt is saying that the glass on the iPad is glued on. Cue the whineboys about no user serviceable parts.

As to trick knees. My right knee got tore up back in the late ‘70s when I was in Pakistan, yes I am feeling it and other old injuries as I get older. I still get around and am mostly well. However, when I am at the Naval Hospital I see a lot of our young service members with missing limbs, it bothers me quite a bit to see that.

Getting back on topic. I debated what iPad to get and was pretty much set on the 32 GB model. However, seeing as I plan to use it mostly around the house, or when I am hiding up at Starbucks or the City Library I felt that 16 GB was enough. If not then there will be an iPad 3 and this one goes to a family member.

Computing with bifocals. I was using the iPad to read in bed and I really like it for that purpose. It seems easier than holding a tome.

Nancy Gravley

Computing with bifocals. I was using the iPad to read in bed and I really like it for that purpose. It seems easier than holding a tome.

I still recommend the iRest for reading in bed.  You don’t have to hold your iPad in your hands.

I went from a 16GB iPad 1 to a 64GB iPad 2 so can download TV shows and watch them when I have time to watch them.


Yes. The screen is glued on and one needs a heat gun or something to get it off. I am a big hardware guy, but that would truly take some huevos.
Once inside I guess the rest of it is easily to take apart becasue it is fastened with tiny screws.

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