New iPad 2012 Launch Day – My Experience

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Melanie with New iPad

New iPad acquisition mission accomplished. I’ve got my lovely new iPad and I’m back at home.

As you’ve probably guessed if you’ve visited this site before that’s not me above. That’s Melanie, a very helpful and friendly staff member at my local Apple store. That is my new iPad box though, with my shiny new pal inside it.

I’ve stood in line for the iPad each year since its initial launch in 2010, and always at the Barton Creek Mall here in Austin, Texas. Today’s lining up and buying experience was fast and easy and as comfortable as it could be given that you’re waiting round for several hours.

New iPad Line

I had a feeling this year’s lines for the iPad might be even larger than last year, so I aimed to get to the mall by sometime before 3:30AM. In the end I got there right at 3:00AM and was the third person in line. Mall security were extremely friendly and allowed us to line up / lounge around in a well-lit and relatively comfortable area just outside the entrance closest to the Apple store.

We were allowed inside the mall at a little after 7:00AM and soon got a look at the new iPad window displays in the Apple store.

New iPad Display at Apple Store

As always at these Apple launch events the company was excellent in the line, and chatting with my line companions made the time go by quickly.

Line Companions

By around 7:45 the line looked to be around 75-100 people long (considerably shorter than last year) and Apple staff walked the line to ask each of us which model we wanted and give us a chit for it.

At 8:00AM on the dot we were escorted into the store and paired with an individual staff member to get our purchases done, and then with a setup tech to walk through personal setup of the new iPad. I got a Black 64GB WiFi + 4G (AT&T) model, and a navy blue leather Apple Smart Cover for it.

As always, all the Apple store staff were friendly, helpful, full of enthusiasm for the new iPad and happy to spend as much time with each person as they wanted.

I took a few minutes to make sure my AT&T data plan was canceled on my iPad 2 and that a new (larger) plan activated successfully on the new iPad. All went smoothly and I was back in my car at 8:35 and walking back into my house before 9:00.

Easy and fast and another very nice iPad launch experience.

For those of you who are getting the new iPad, how has today gone for you? Did you line up / are you in a line now? Or waiting on a pre-order? Let us know in the comments.


Patrick Jordan

Founder and Editor in Chief of iPad Insight. Husband, father to a lovely daughter, Commander of the Armies of the North, dog lover (especially Labs), Austinite, former Londoner, IT consultant, huge sports nut, iPad and mobile tech blogger, mobile apps junkie.

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8 thoughts on “New iPad 2012 Launch Day – My Experience”

  1. Mine arrived by FedEx, and I’m currently struggling with getting apps transferred from my original iPad to the new one. I backed up the original earlier today, but then as soon as I connected the new device, iTunes backed *it* up as well, overwriting my original backup. I’m now trying to backup to iCloud.

    I got the white 32GB, with WiFi only.

  2. Renton, WA Walmart opened the doors at 7am. I got there at 6:40am, was fourth person in line. They only got 15 iPad’s in. I bought the 16 GB WiFi only. Only took a few minutes. I really wanted the 32 GB model so I waited until 8am and went to Target. They too did not get any 32 GB models. I then went to Fry’s, walked right to the display and wellah, they had a 32 GB model so I bought it. Then returned the 16 GB model to Walmart.
    Overall, the experience was quick and simple. I feel for those folks waiting in huge lines…

  3. I lucked out today I thought. Walked into a Best Buy in Austin, Texas around 9:45 a.m. (opened at 9 a.m.) and got the iPad I wanted. Pretty quick process to pick it up, too. Came back about 45 minutes later and got another. Still tons in when we came back but longer check-out line. BB had set up special check-out lines for iPad purchases.

  4. Mine arrived via FedEx at 2pm. I had done a backup overnight of my ipad2 to the cloud. Just got finished restoring to the new one. The display is absolutely outstanding. Text is beautiful.

  5. Got my Black 32gb Verizon LTE 2 days after launch and they had plenty.

    Why did u go for AT&T? I was considering AT&T but I went with Verizon bc I have an AT&T iPhone 4, and the service is just okay… Although, I have read ppl are getting pretty fast speeds atm with AT&T.

    I’m in Atlanta and I’m seeing speeds between 15-20 DL and 10-15 UL (in the city). My max was 40 DL and 20 UL (in the burbs).

    1. I went with AT&T because I’ve had very good experience with them on my iPhones and iPads for years now, and also because their LTE coverage map for Austin looked great, and so far that has proved accurate.

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