Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Overnight queues for Apple's new iPad

About 300 people had gathered by the time the EpiCentre store at Ion Orchard opened at 10am on Friday. By midday, more than 1,000 iPad units had been snapped up from the company's eight stores. There were also queues at Nubox, another Apple premium reseller. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO

Singapore: The hordes of Apple fans here once again proved their loyalty, with queues forming hours before the new iPad went on sale on Friday.

EpiCentre - the largest Apple premium reseller here with eight outlets - had a queue outside its Ion Orchard store as early as 10pm on Thursday.
By the time it opened at 10am on Friday, some 300 people had gathered outside the company's busiest store, said executive chairman and chief executive Jimmy Fong.
The fact that the new iPad will not be able to hook up to ultra-fast 4G networks here - but instead will fall back on 3G connections - did not stop consumers from parting with their money.
By midday on Friday, more than 1,000 units had been snapped up from EpiCentre's eight stores. 'Some customers had come from Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia,' said Mr Fong.
It was the first time consumers here could buy a newly launched iPad at the same time as in the United States. Nine other markets, including Hong Kong and Australia, also started offering the tablet on Friday.
At Nubox, which sells the gadget at eight outlets, queues formed at some stores as early as 11pm on Thursday.
The longest lines were outside its Tampines and Jurong Point branches, each of which had more than 100 people by the time they opened at 10am on Friday.
SingTel - which started selling the new iPad on its website at midnight on Friday - said its online inventory was depleted within 21/2 hours.
The telco, which offered online customers free home delivery beginning at 3am, declined to say how many units were sold.
SingTel and StarHub said there were no long overnight queues at any of their stores. But M1's Paragon shop, which had a midnight launch on Friday, drew some 200 customers..
The entry-level model - 16GB Wi-Fi only - is going for $658. Wi-Fi-only models can be bought only from Apple premium resellers like EpiCentre and Nubox while telcos sell only the Wi-Fi-cum-4G models.

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