I finally got hold of my first iPad after my fourth attempt.
I was planning on standing in line on March 11th, the day iPad 2 was released but we were visiting family in Iowa and were on the road that evening. So, I went into the Apple Store around 10 AM, March 12th and found out about the crazy lines on the previous day. The store clerk also mentioned that there were lines very early in the morning and the stock was sold out. The next shipment was to arrive on Monday. I tried Target and Best Buy but no luck there.
Monday morning I decided to go early and went in at 8:30 AM, one and a half hours before the store opened and was told that there was a line very early in the morning and they were sold out of iPads again. Monday was the travel day back to Denver and since Denver had more than one Apple Store, I thought my chances of gettineg an iPad in Denver were better than in Iowa.
I could not go and stand in line on a weekday because of work and so I decided to go in early on a weekend. I wanted to be at the Apple Store by 6 AM but could not get up that early and so was at the store by 7:00 AM. There were already 100 people standing in the line when I got there and so I knew my chances were slim. Within 30 minutes, one Apple Store clerk came around and announced that only the first 10 people in the line got iPads. There was one lady who had camped out overnight and she was in a bad shape. Folks were interviewing her trying to find out if she was a pro at standing in line. She was telling everyone that it was her first time in line for any gadget or for anything. So, lots of first-timers who went crazy for a gadget for the first time in their life including me.
I was told that the next shipment will be there on the coming Tuesday.
Fourth and Final Attempt
On Tuesday, I was there at the store at 4:30 AM and luckily the doors were open. There were two guys in front of me and by 5 AM there were more than 10 people in the line. When the Apple Store doors opened around 9 AM there were more than 100 people in the line.
What followed next was an amazing experience of Apple Store. An entourage of 10 Apple employees came to the folks waiting in the line. One of them asked me my preference of iPad and told me that there was no going back once I decided. I had made my mind to get a 32 GB Wi-Fi Black iPad and I told that my choice was final. Then I was introduced to the genius bar guy who was going to get me my iPad.
You think when there are 100 people waiting in line outside, you will be fazed as an employee and try to rush things but no, not at Apple Store. The folks inside were calm and collected. There were letting 10 people in at a time and made sure each one was attended to properly. All my questions about the iPad 2 were answered as though I was the only one in line and so all in all it was a rich expereince.
It has been exactly a week since I bought an iPad and it definitley is a magical device. There is a lot to write about iPad but some other time.