Now you see it, now you don't: Gone in 60 seconds, iPad 2
A month after the iPad 2 was officially launched in the UAE, the craze for the lighter, faster and slimmer device continues. Apple’s iPad sequel is disappearing faster than they can be stocked.
The second generation iPad 2 is still being met by long queues outside stores such as iStyle when it goes on sale. You can’t book it. You need to join the queue that begins to form every Thursday morning.
The first week had seen the line almost wrapped around the mall’s entrance. But any lingering doubts that the interest in the tablet would wane are being quashed as crowds continue to gather around the stores selling them.
Fans of iPad 2 just can’t get enough of it and Thursday morning saw a queue lining up in front the iStyle store at the Ibn Battuta Mall as early as 8.30am. It was a long wait but, for them, it was worth it. Some of them had come with kids in tow desperately hoping they would make it home with the sleek machine.
The store opened at sharp 10am and in 60 minutes there were none left. All 90 of them had been grabbed. It seems the allure and interest still holds good and is much higher for the iPad 2 than it was for the original.
One early bird bought one and then promptly rejoined the line since each buyer is entitled to just one device.
Radel Mizesklus, a US expat, was one of them. “I just have to have two of them,” she said, the awe and delight at having bought the first piece writ large on her face.
“The second one is for my grand daughter who wants to play Angry Bird.” Fortunately, this did not anger others as the line continued inched forward.
“I simply can’t believe something like this is happening in Dubai,” said Farah Bhadelia of Pakistan. A student UOWD, she had joined the queue at 9.30pm desperately hoping she was not too late and would be able to walk away with one. And she did. “I’m a huge Apple fan and the iPad 2 is really hot. It’s slim and its got style,” she said as she waved her iPhone.
Apple fans in the UAE waited almost a year after the first iPad’s US release before it was officially available in local stores.
Clearly the iPad 2 attracts buyers not simply because of the hype it has generated but because it’s also the best tablet available right now, even with several Android models already in the market and RIM’s PlayBook set to arrive next month. Apple’s iPad 2 offers the best combination of design, performance, interface and apps. Ah, yes, the apps. Apple can now boast about around 500,000 apps in its App Store, more than 10 per cent of them especially made for iPad.
Some of them in the line with me already owned the first generation iPad that proved to be a global game changer when it first made its appearance. For a few, the second generation machine was something they had been waiting for. With a faster processor, better graphic chops and at almost the same price (Dh2,999) as the first device, it was a steal.
For others, like John Christensen of the UK, it was to surprise the wife. “My wife has always been an Apple lover and this iPad 2 is surprise birthday gift for her,” he said as he kept punching away on his BB.
“ I really hope I get mine today,” said an anxious Heba Kirolos of Egypt who was a bit late in turning up. “I got hooked to Apple products two years ago and I’ve never looked back.”
“The last piece is gone,” said Shivani Chhabra as she came out of the store. Hearts all around sank. There were still 14 left in the line. What they did not know was she had bought the last black 16GB iPad2.
“My husband desperately wanted this after he had checked it out yesterday,” she said holding the iPad2 high as her family gathered around her and the those in the line heaved a sigh of relief.
Marc Baaklini, the iStyle store manager is a happy man. “We’ve been selling them faster than our limited stocks can be replenished,” he said. Global sales has been huge and Apple just can’t cope with the demand. Seemingly, Apple did not anticipate the huge demand though the original iPad has sold more than 15 million.
“Over the last three weeks we have sold our entire stock of 600 pieces. Every week a crowd gathers here and it’s gone in less than an hour. If we receive more stock we will easily be able to sell more. Our orders are huge but Apple can’t cope with it given the global demand for the machine,” said Marc who has over 2,000 customers on his waiting list all of whom are alerted when stocks arrive every week.
But they — and you — will have to get in line if you want to own one.