Apple's iPad2 went on sale at 5 p.m. Friday. Prospective buyers waited in lines across Louisville and the rest of the country for their chance to own the latest and greatest offering from Apple. I recently decided to purchase an iPad and thought I'd wait for the release of the second generation, iPad2. I stopped at the Apple store (7900 Shelbyville Road) in Oxmoor Center Mall after work Friday along with a few hundred of my closest friends. When I arrived, the line outside of the Apple store stretched down the mall to Macy's, crossed over to the opposite side of the mall, and stretched back up the mall to Sephora.
The Apple iPad2 offers some features the original iPad does not. It has dual cameras like the iPhone4 which allows use of Facetime and HD recording. It has a dual core A5 chip and is lighter and thinner than the original version. It also offers a magnetic cover, that can be purchased separately as an accessory, which can double as a stand.
I arrived about 45 minutes after the iPad2s went on sale. After 10 minutes in line an Apple representative walked the line announcing that all AT&T 3G models were sold out. Several people dropped out of the line and the rest of us slowly moved up. The guy in front of me was on his phone frantically calling every electronics department in the vicintity and discovering that they were fresh out of the iPad2s.
One hour after the iPad2 went on sale the Apple representative again appeared and announced that all 16 & 32 Gig Verizon 3G models were gone. The caller in front of me left the line, wishing the rest of us luck.
An hour and a half into my wait, I reached the point in line where an Apple salesperson was displaying the coveted gadget in his hands, taunting us with its glorious new features. A few lineholders were allowed to hold it (under close supervision). I asked Ben, the salesperson, how many iPad2s they had in stock. Apparently, this information is not shared with all staff and Ben was on a need-to-know basis. Obviously, Ben did not need to know this information. All he needed to know was how to make everyone in line desire the device more; a task he was accomplishing very well!
Two hours after the iPad2 went on sale, the Apple representative emerged again to notify us that all 64 Gig Wi-Fi models were gone. He also relayed that there were five Verizon 3G models left and was kind enough to tell the person behind me that she needn't worry about that because they would be gone before she got up to the front of the line. 25 minutes later, the Apple representative returned to confirm that all Verizon models were now gone.
Nearly two hours into my wait, the same Apple representative again appeared. He was talking to the people about 20 or 30 in front of me. I could see that questions were being asked and hands were being raised. I knew this had to mean something. It was reminiscent of being at Disney when the attendant walks down the line in search of a single rider. I knew what was coming, but didn't want to move. The rep slowly made his way down the line, harshly telling us further back in line that there would be nothing for us when we reached the front of the line. Go home.
Surprisingly, the crowd was slow to disperse. Surely he was wrong. However, this was not Need-to-Know Ben, this was the one Apple representative who did know what was going on. I took my leave, stopping at Bath & Body Works on my way out for some much needed aromatherapy.
For those who were fortunate enough to get their hands on the iPad2 this weekend--congrats! For the rest of us, we'll wait for the stock to replinish or order online.
Photo: Jessie Oswald