The Apple iPad 2 launched across the UK on the 25th March. As expected queues were long, extraordinarily long even by Apple standards. We hopped into the Cribbs Causeway line, Bristol at 3:30pm and over 200 people were already in the line with some of them taking the day off work to ensure they were at the front. It seems the entire country experienced similar queues, especially in London.
The first person in the UK to pick up up an iPad 2 was Jewels (not Jules) Lewis, a dedicated fan who took his place at the head of the line 34 hours before the store opened its doors – we bet he got the biggest high five of all (as is the custom at these events). Apparently he was joined by seven other Apple iPad enthusiasts on Thursday night who waited patiently until the hoards appeared at around 3:30 to 4:00pm – by the time the doors opened the queue had doubled back on itself. Some reports put the number of people in the line at 5:00pm at over 700!
Back in Bristol a similar pattern followed as by the time the doors opened there were around 350 people in the queue. Everyone seemed to be in good spirits, spurred on with free cakes and refreshments throughout. The two gentleman behind us were very excited and clear Apple fans. They admitted they had waited for the iPad 2 because it ‘offers a lot more than the first one’. One gentleman explained he was purchasing his 16GB iPad 2 as a ‘coffee table gadget’ that the whole family can use. His wife can read magazines, his children play games and he cam read the paper and surf the web – he saw his purchase as a family investment.
Interestingly people were still coming up and asking what we were waiting for. When I replied “for the iPad 2” it was either welcomed by a bemused look, a giggle or a look of disgust – clearly the iPad 2 isn’t everyone’s cup of tea despite the lengthly queues across the UK.