My iPad 2 Launch Day is coming into its home stretch. I’m home now, with lovely new iPad 2 and some accessory friends – and just have to get it synced and setup to my preferences a little later this evening.
I’ve been to a few big Apple iDevice launches over recent years, and most have been a pretty good experience – or at least as good as they could be when you’re lined up for many hours waiting to fork over tons of money for a shiny new device. I have to say that today has been great, easily my favorite iPad / iDevice launch day. That happy face on Will – the super helpful Apple store staffer who got me checked out with my iPads (one for me, one for a friend) – nicely sums up how good a day it was.
Here’s a few other reasons why the day went so well for me:
— I chose my venue right and got my timing right. I’ve learned after a few years that Apple stores are always very well organized, have by far and away the most stock available, and are very friendly and helpful throughout the day while you’re waiting right through to when they’re checking you out and doing your personal iPad setup if you want their help on that.
Early in the week I decided to go to my closest Apple store here in Austin, Texas – even though there are closer Best Buy, Target, and Walmart outlets. I packed myself a small iPad carrying bag with a charger (which of course was never needed) and some other little essentials and got to the mall that houses my local Apple store at right around 8:30AM. I was Number 8 in the line, and I knew right then that I had a long day of waiting ahead, but that once the iPad 2 went on sale at 5:00 I’d be amongst the first in. And I got in on the second batch of people, very close on the heels of the first handful. I was done, dusted, and in my car at 5:20.
By that time, there were well over 200, perhaps close to 500 people waiting in line.
— The Apple staff were all full of energy all day. They regularly offered waters to all in line, as well as coffee in the afternoon. They also really cranked through the checkout process with everyone as we got into the store. They were giving good demos of the Apple Smart Covers for the iPad 2 (which are very cool, more on those soon), helping everyone with checking out, setting up, choosing accessories and so on. There seemed to be as many – or more – staff as customers during the whole time I was in the store.
— I had superb company / line companions all day long. Grant, John, several others, and especially Sean and Roxanne (shown above) were excellent to talk to – and the day really went by very quickly considering the number of hours we were there.
I also enjoyed checking out Roxanne’s website. She’s a tv host, video producer, radio personality, a former final four contestant on NBC’s The Apprentice, and a blogger on a variety of subjects. Give her site a look here if you have a chance: http://www.roxannewilson.com/
— My original iPad served me well all day to check email, talk to people on Twitter, throw a few posts up to the site with the lovely new Blogsy blog editor app, and play show and tell with some of my favorite apps and my line buddies. Its battery barely broke a sweat and remained at around 70% at the end of the day.
So yeah, I’m a happy new iPad 2 owner. Thanks to all the cool Apple staff for their efforts today and to all my great line buddies for making the hours pass away so quickly.
Hope all off you had similarly good experiences on launch day. Let us know in the comments how it went for you.