Apple iPad goes international

Apple Store employee with the iPad - Photo: Flickr

There’s no reason why anybody should be awake at 5 a.m., but for Apple lovers there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be awake.

Today marks the launch of Apple’s iPad in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland, the U.K. and Canada.  The tablet computer arrived in the United States at the start of April and so for international Apple fans that had to wait another two months, May 28 couldn’t come any faster.

In Ottawa’s Rideau Centre Apple store in Canada, the line-up started at 5 a.m.  A handful of Apple store employees had been there all night behind a black curtain that covered the entire storefront.   As the 8 a.m. opening approached, they dropped the curtains and revealed a totally revamped Apple store that was all about the iPad.  Customers were greeted with enthusiastic employees who ran up and down the long line, cheering, clapping and high-fiving customers.  Tickets were handed out to over 100 eager customers and as the clock hit 8 a.m. the cheering only got louder.

Each customer got their own personal Apple employee shopper and received applause and handshakes as they entered the store.

Adam Tibbetts, 13, and his dad Paul Duvernet were one of the first people to purchase an iPad in Canada.  They woke up at 4 a.m. just for the launch.  First thing they’re going to do with the iPad? Well Tibbetts still has to go to school his father says, but after that, he’s going to use it to play games.

Jean-Philippe Bergeron, a university student, borrowed his friend’s credit card for the week just so he can purchase and download apps off of iTunes. He vows that he won’t be taking his eyes of his iPad for the rest of the day.

Another lady walks out of the store and has committed herself to a nap; the iPad can wait another few hours she says.

The line continued to grow and it wasn’t until 9:30 a.m. did it start to slow down.

The most popular model of the iPad appeared to be the fully loaded 64 GB model with Wi-Fi and 3G networks.  Both Rogers Communications and Bell Canada will be providing data plans for Canadian iPad owners.

The iPad will also be available at Best Buy, Futureshop and at a few other select authorized dealers.


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