Friday, November 02 14:58:34
The launch of Apple's iPad mini attracted smaller crowds from Sydney to New York today than have been typical for previous Apple product debuts, events marked by people lining up for hours or even days.
A proliferation of comparable rival devices may have sapped some interest for the device, which is priced above rival gadgets from Google Inc and Amazon.com Inc.
A few hundred people were in line at Apple's Fifth Avenue flagship store in New York at about 8 a.m., days after the city was battered by Hurricane Sandy, one of the biggest storms to ever hit the United States.
Lisa Sieber, 59, from Germany rode a bike to the Apple store on Friday as she said she's been going 'stir crazy' from lack of power and water at her 81-year-old mother's home in Manhattan's Lower East Side.
"I didn't think I needed an iPad but once you get your first Mac, you slide into the iPhone and the next one and it makes it easy to get more Apple products," she said, adding that "there's not much to do without power and lights."
While many people have been happy to camp overnight at the New York store for past launches, some were angry on Friday that Apple changed the store's opening time to 10 a.m. for this launch from 8 a.m. previously.
"Usually it's 8 a.m.," said Vincent Leroy, 27, a student from Long Island City in Queens who showed up at the store at 6:30 a.m. His friends complained loudly in unison when he told them he had found out about the delayed opening.
In Amsterdam two hours after the Apple store opened, it looked like a typical day at the store with no lines outside the door. An Apple employee on the scene told Reuters that people had lined up ahead of the store opening.
About 50 people waited for the Apple store in Sydney, Australia, to open, where in the past the line had stretched for several blocks when the company debuted new iPhones. At the head of Friday's line was Patrick Li, who had been waiting since 4:30 a.m. and was eager to get his hands on the 7.9-inch slate. (C ) Reuters