MIAMI (CBSMiami.com) – If you’ve been waiting to trade a few hundred dollars to be among the first owners of a new Apple iPad 2, today’s the day. A host of South Florida saw line as people waited to buy the new tablet, and despite the wait, some were turned away disappointed as demand outstripped supply.
It was thought the lines would be less of an issue than they were with the launch of the original iPad, because far more stores had stock to sell for the launch of the iPad 2. That was not the case.
At a Doral Best Buy store, people started lining up around lunchtime, and by 4 PM more than 50 were waiting in line.
“They tell me they have enough so I’ll get one”, said one guy in line who asked to be identified only as “Wizzer”. He planned to buy the entry level model, saying he could not afford the top of the line one that he wanted.
“I’ve been waiting for the second model to come out because I wanted one with a camera,” he said. “It’s been tough, but it pays off today.”
As for the dozens of people in line behind him, “I’m glad I’m not them,” he said.
In addition to placing the new iPad on sale at the 8 Apple stores in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties, and at Best Buy, the iPad 2 is being sold at Target, Walmart, and at the stores of Apple’s wireless partners, AT&T and Verizon. But with heavy demand, unless you were waiting at launch you may wait weeks to buy one.
A spot check of South Florida non-Apple retailers indicate most have supplies in stock, though none would talk about how many iPad2’s they have for sale. Apple would not comment, beyond one Apple employee at the Aventura store who urged potential buyers to, “get here early if you want one today.”
In some cases, shoppers reported the new iPads were already on the shelves of some Walmart stores, but when shoppers took them to check-out, they were told the item could not be sold.
Apple is traditionally very strict about sale date and times of new products.
Apple did allow on-line orders starting at 4 a.m. Friday, but is stating delivery times of 2-3 weeks. Other retailers list the iPad 2 on their sites but were not allowing on-line sales, reservations, or purchases to pick up in stores.AT&T was offering sales for some models after 5 PM, but was quoting delivery times of up to 3 weeks.
Analysts said Friday Apple could sell at least a million of the popular tablet this weekend.
The iPad 2 has been viewed by reviewers as an ‘incremental’ upgrade, not a groundbreaking new product. Among the biggest changes are the inclusion of front and rear cameras, which allow for video conferencing and other picture tasks, and an upgrade in both the processor and the internal memory.
Reviewers say the new iPad 2 is faster, and physically, it’s about 2/3 the thickness and slightly lighter than the original ground-breaking tablet.
The new iPad also allows an HDMI connection for showing HD movies on HD TVs, and for the first time, people can mirror what is seen on the iPad on the larger screen.
The new device also offers a new way to protect the screen, without using a case. An optional magnetic flap snaps to the iPad2 to cover the face in what Apple feels is a more elegant way.
The iPad 2 comes in 6 models, three with WiFi with different internal storage options starting at $499. Those three models also come with an option for a 3G wireless data connection for use on AT&T or Verizon. The 3G models add about $150 to the price of each unit.