Apple fans camp out for new iPad

The new iPad went on sale in the United States on Friday as Apple fans lined up in the rain outside the company's flagship New York store to be among the first to snap up the device.

Apple began selling the iPad 2, which was unveiled by chief executive Steve Jobs last week, online overnight and it will be available in the gadget-maker's 236 US stores starting at 5:00 pm (2200 GMT).

Around 150 people, including some who camped out overnight swathed in rain gear and equipped with chairs and big umbrellas, had formed a slowly growing queue around the block outside Apple's Fifth Avenue store.

Many in the crowd were foreigners seeking to take advantage of an opportunity they won't have in their own country for awhile.

The iPad 2, which is one-third thinner, nearly 15 percent lighter and faster than the model released in April, will be available in around two dozen other countries later this month.

Mingda Zhong, 18, a student from Nanjing, said that even the original iPad is rare at home. "You cannot buy the iPad 1 very easily," he said. "Most Chinese do not have it."

He said he planned to use the iPad 2 in class. "I don't want to take my laptop. It's heavy," he said.

Anton Bondarenko, a 24-year-old student from Ukraine, said he hoped to get one for himself and another as a present for his sister - "if it's possible to buy two."

"You use them for everything: for studying, games. You can find any book on the Internet, any news," Bondarenko said. "It's very convenient, especially for students."

Besides the size and weight, the other major improvement to the touchscreen tablet computer is the addition of front- and rear-facing cameras that allow users to take still pictures and video and hold video conversations.

Apple sold 15 million iPads last year, bringing in $10 billion in new revenue and creating an entirely new category of consumer electronics devices.

Dozens of other companies have been scrambling since then to bring their own tablets to market, most of them relying on Google's Android software, and Apple is hoping the iPad 2 will keep it a step ahead of its rivals.

But with the exception of the Galaxy Tab from South Korea's Samsung, rival tablet-makers have enjoyed little success.

Technology research firm Gartner is forecasting sales of 55 million tablet computers worldwide this year and another research firm, Forrester, said Apple has little to worry about for now.

"Competing tablets to the iPad are poised to fail, which is why we're forecasting that Apple will have at least 80 percent share of the US consumer tablet market in 2011," Forrester said.

The iPad 2 received mostly glowing reviews from the influential technology columnists of The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.

"While it's evolutionary rather than revolutionary like the first model, the changes Apple has made are generally pleasing and positive, and the device worked very well for me," the Journal's Walter Mossberg said.

While pleased with the iPad 2 overall, Mossberg said it was not a must buy for owners of the old model.

"Unless you are desperate for the cameras or feel you are laboring under the greater bulk of the original model, I don't advise that iPad owners race to get the new version," he said.

David Pogue of the Times said the improvement in thinness, weight and speed "transforms the experience" of using an iPad and the cameras are a "treat."

He predicted the iPad 2 "will still dominate the market, because it dominates in all the most important criteria: thinness, weight, integration, beauty - and apps."

More than 65,000 applications have been created for the iPad, while there are currently only about 100 crafted for tablets running Android.

The iPad 2 is selling at the same prices as the original iPad, ranging from $499 for the 16-gigabyte version to $829 for the top-of-the-line 64-GB model.

The iPad 2 will be available on March 25 in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Britain, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

sms-cl/ch

 

Voices
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
News
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

    £50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

    Ashdown Group: Part time Network Support Analyst / Windows Systems Administrat

    £30 per hour: Ashdown Group: An industry leading and well established business...

    Ashdown Group: Trainee / Graduate Helpdesk Analyst

    £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly reputable business is looking to rec...

    Ashdown Group: Application Support Engineer with SQL skills

    £28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly reputable business is looking to rec...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

    Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

    As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
    The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

    The Interview movie review

    You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
    Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

    How podcasts became mainstream

    People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

    Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
    Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

    A memorable year for science – if not for mice

    The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
    Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

    Christmas cocktails to make you merry

    Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
    5 best activity trackers

    Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

    Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
    Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

    Paul Scholes column

    It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
    Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

    Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

    2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
    Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

    The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

    Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas