Apple fans descend on Southern California outlets to snatch iPads

11:51, April 04, 2010      

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For Ian Hamilton, a writer with the Orange County Register, a local newspaper in Southern California, Saturday marked the day when his laptop died, as Apple Inc.'s much-anticipated iPad tablet computer went on sale on the day.

"My personal laptop will likely be deeded to my wife. The battery only lasts 2-3 hours, if I'm lucky," he wrote in his blog. "It's clunky and huge by comparison. It burns my lap when I actually put it on my lap.

"I don't think I'll miss it," he declared.

Numerous Apple fans thronged to Apple outlets and Best Buy stores in Southern California Saturday morning to buy new touch- screen iPad, Apple's first tablet-like computer. Apple Inc. began to put its latest product on sale at 221 outlets and most Best Buy chain stores across the United States from the day. To make sure they are lucky enough to have one, many customers lined up in front of the stores overnight, snacked on cookies and kept themselves warm with winter coats and blankets.

People queued up in two lines, one was for pre-ordered customers, the other for purchasers. For most of the stores, customers numbered less than 100, which was in stark contract to 2007 when Apple's cell phone iPhone was put on sale in America.

At Irvine Spectrum, Orange County, customers lined up to buy the products. Russ Taylor, who was the first to get hold of the new gadget, held high two models he just purchased to the applause of blue-shirted Apply employees. "I am a big fan of iPhone, pretty much all the Apple products," he said, with wide smiles running across his face.

As a touch-screen marvel with Wi-Fi and option to add 3G wireless, the product with Wi-Fi application sells at 499 dollars for the 16 GB version, 599 dollars for 32 GB and 699 dollars for the 64 GB. Many customers, most of them die-hard Apple enthusiasts, choose to buy the 499-dollars model. The models on sale this week are Wi-Fi equipped and start at 499 dollars.

Apple will release a more expensive line of 3G cellular iPads later this month, which will cost as much as 829 dollars and require a data plan from AT&T costing as much as 30 dollars each month.



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