The other day we told you about a line that was forming days early in front of the U.K. Apple Store on Regent Street
. With the store opening Friday at 8am local time, it looked like the reps inside the store would be busy all day, handling orders for the third iteration of Apple's tablet. But by 10:15am, the line had disappeared according to Pocketlint
, leaving plenty of inventory inside the store
. According to an employee who works in that particular Apple Store, only the 16GB Wi-Fi only model had sold out leaving stock of the other variants of the tablet.
This same store had long lines winding around the block past 7pm last year for the launch of the Apple iPad 2. What changed? An exit poll found that only 13 of the first 100 people in line thought that the Apple Store was the only place to buy the third-generation Apple tablet on launch day. This means that other locations did a good job of marketing including PC World where stores opened at 12:01 am
. Also, more buyers were aware that the iPad could be ordered online. A majority of those on line said they were there for the "atmosphere." Additionally, 45% were first time tablet buyers and the rest were upgrading.
We will need evidence from more than one location before we call the launch a disappointment. With over 1 million units expected to be sold during the launch
, the bar has been set high, and as we said, a large number of iPad buyers just might have decided to purchase their new iPad from another vendor. By Sunday when the weekend is ending, we should have a rough idea whether the estimated demand for the device was overblown.