Don’t get me wrong, I have my fair share of Apple products: iPhone 3G, iPad, MacBook Pro, and iPod Nano. As much as I love these products, I’m not a die-hard techie who has to have the newest of everything in Apple’s product lines. That being said, I always wondered why people work themselves into such frenzy and wait hours upon hours in a queue just to have the newest thing. I’m all about brand loyalty, but have some patience people! Well, thanks to my job, I was “given the opportunity” (a.k.a. I didn’t have any meetings on my calendar) to spend EIGHT hours, an entire work day, sitting in line at the nearest Apple store to await the arrival of iPad 2. It was a surprisingly cool experience, maybe not one I’d do every week, but it was cool to see how it goes down.
The first three people in line were waiting for the mall doors to open at 4 a.m. Some people trickled in right before the mall “opened” and then my entourage arrived. We were twentieth in line. The waiting game began. Thank good we brought chairs. And everyone was docile.
It was a tame mingling so-to-speak. People were hanging out, many playing on iPads while waiting for iPads. A few hours before the sale was to begin, Apple employees came out and did a head count of what people were hoping to buy then gave us the coveted golden tickets: white cards bearing the Apple emblem and the name of the specific model we wanted.
THEN… they closed the store to the public, put up a giant curtain to block all view of the inside, and the clock really started ticking. We were all anxious. We’d been there for eight hours, after all. 5 a.m. rolled around and a slow chant started to grow as the curtain was being dissolved. “iPad 2! iPad 2! iPad 2!” The guests outside joined in. The store opened and the line began filing in. Models of iPad 2 had been put out for demos, their new smart covers were stocked on the shelves. It was actually a very exciting and a cool experience. Everyone was thrilled!
It was worth it. The latest features included on iPad 2 make it a superior tablet than the original iPad, which sold 600,000-700,000 units its opening weekend. Estimates show that iPad 2 sold close to one million units this past weekend.
Clearly, Apple fans are ecstatic about finally seeing a tablet that has features Apple should have included on the original iPad; it’s faster, thinner, lighter, and has rear and front-facing cameras making it FaceTime capable. It now is also available for Verizon customers. iPad 2 is victorious, right off the bat.
Despite the vast improvements customers wanted to see, there are still a few things missing. Mainly, iPad 2 lacks a retina display. Also, the rumors that iPad 2 would feature dual docking ports so that it could be docked both horizontally and vertically would be a nice addition and were sadly untrue for this version. Flash still eludes the iPad product line, which seems to be bothersome to many, but not all, iPad owners. Others are still longing for an SD slot, a USB port, and cloud capability. Rumors are already circulating about an iPad 3 (possibly this fall). Maybe some of iPad 2’s downfalls will be met in the creation of the ultimate tablet. Until we know for sure, the missing features clearly will not be an obstacle in iPad 2’s path to success.