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sexta-feira, 28 de maio de 2010

iPad frenzy: First Apple fans get their hands on touchscreen tablets as doors finally open

By Claire Bates and Sean Poulter
Last updated at 9:27 AM on 28th May 2010

For Apple iPad fans in the UK the wait is finally over. Thousands of excited customers queued through the night to get their hands on Apple's 'Jesus tablet'.

First through the door of Apple's flagship store in Regent Street, London, was Jake Lee.

The 17-year-old from Theydon Bois in Essex had been queuing since 2pm yesterday afternoon and planned to buy the £599 32GB WiFi model.

As he entered the shop, he said: 'I'm so excited. Let's just hope my card works.'

After playing around on the gadget, he said: 'It's everything I hoped for and I can't wait to get going on it. It feels just amazing. I can't explain it - ridiculously amazing. I want a go on it now.'

Enlarge jake lee

Jake Lee, 17, from Theydon Bois, Essex, became the first owner of the iPad at Apple's flagship store in London

iPad mania: Customers queued overnight at the Apple store in  London's Regent Street to be the first owners of the new Apple gadget

iPad mania: Customers queued overnight at the Apple store in London's Regent Street to be the first owners of the new Apple gadget

Outside security men in fluorescent yellow tabards and photographers jostled alongside the noisy and excited crowds.

Celebrity tweeter and Apple fan Stephen Fry was also there.

He said: 'Just to see this is fantastic. It is a phenomenal event. There's never been anything like it.

'To say I was here is rather a nice feeling. If I was a music fan, it would be like the launch of a Lady GaGa album in the US record store - it's a momentous occasion.'

The gadget has caused a global frenzy with lines forming in cities across the world including in London, Berlin, Tokyo and Sydney. Patient customers in London were divided into groups and given queue management passes.

But suppliers warned that many in the UK would be disappointed, because Apple is rationing shipments of the device to Britain and some shops will not receive any stock until September.

Today's UK launch of the iPad - which can be used to surf the web, watch films and read books and newspapers - has already been pushed back by one month after supplies were diverted to meet unprecedented demand in the U.S.

And thousands of shoppers who pre-ordered iPads in this country will be forced to wait another ten days for their devices to be delivered.

Apple stores were due to open at 8am, with desperate customers expected to queue outside overnight. Such was the anxiety about getting hold of the gadget that one buyer paid an assistant to wait in line for him during the chilly night hours.

iPad specifications


Height: 242.8 mm (9.56 inches)
Width: 189.7 mm (7.47 inches)
Depth: 13.4 mm (0.5 inch)

Touchscreen via minimalist sheet of glass. The back is brushed aluminium.

Large touchscreen keyboard that works in both portrait and landscape modes.

Volume switch. Power and home buttons. Headphone jack. Microphone and mini speaker.


Connects to computer via standard 30-pin dock connector.

Basic model connects to internet via wi-fi link to home computer or hot spot. Enhanced model also connects via 3G mobile phone network.

Mobile network connectively will be offered by Vodafone, O2, Orange and 3 networks with tariffs ranging from £2 a day to £25 a month.

There is no SD Card slot to plug in extra memory or transfer files.


Home screen has a series of tiles with applications on them.

A handful of apps are already installed - Calendar, Contacts, Notes, Maps, Videos, YouTube, iTunes Store, Safari, Mail, Photos, iPod and a link to Apple's App Store.

Like the iPhone and iTouch there is a thin bar at the top of the screen that lets you see your Wi-Fi strength, the time and battery status.

There are 3,500 applications (Apps) - including games, books, films, video cookery lessons - available to buy or download free.

BBC is launching new version of iPlayer for the iPad. Users will be able to stream BBC programmes to the iPad to be watched on the go.


QWERTY keyboard dock - £55
Connection kit to import photos and video from a digital camera - £25
iPad case - £30

It is understood that iPads will initially only be available from 27 Apple stores and 139 outlets in the Dixons chain, including some branches of Currys Digital and PC World.

Other major retailers, such as Comet, John Lewis and Carphone Warehouse, may have to wait for up to ten weeks. Argos suggested it would not get hold of iPads until September.

Luke Peters, editor of technology magazine T3, said the 'breathtaking' gadget 'could well be the first true "computer for all".'

Brand expert Simon Middleton agreed, saying: 'The iPad really is a culturally significant piece of kit. It will, I confidently predict, change the way we think about mobile devices and their potential. Within months there will be rivals from other manufacturers.

'Within a couple of years we will take for granted that we can read books, papers, magazines on the move from one device, as well as web browsing, handling our email etc.'

But Kris Sangani, of E&T magazine, said it would not provide a 'like-for-like replacement for laptops or notebook PCs'.

Simone Straehle cheers after being the first customer to leave the  Apple store with an 'iPad' in Frankfurt
rahul koduri

Simone Straehle cheers after being the first customer with an 'iPad' in Frankfurt while Rahul Korduri (right) becomes the first iPad owner in Sydney

Nishat Syed uploaded this Twitter pic from Westfield. He said he  was the seventh person in a queue of around 150 people

Nishat Syed uploaded this Twitter pic from Westfield. He said he was the seventh person in a queue of around 150 people

Demand for the iPad, which costs £699 in the UK for a top-of-the-range version, has helped Apple overtake Microsoft to become the world's biggest technology company. The firm was worth £154billion, compared to Microsoft's £152billion, at close of trading in New York on Wednesday.

But excitement over the launch was dampened by the revelation that ten workers have killed themselves at the factory where the iPad is made.

The employees jumped to their deaths from the roof of the Foxconn Technology Group complex in southern China. Its 300,000 workers are paid 30p an hour.


Apple Magic Gadget.jpg



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