That’s my shiny new baby right there. A quick shot taken with the iPhone while getting checked out earlier this morning. My iPad buying experience – at the Apple store in Barton Creek Mall in Austin – was superb today. It really couldn’t have been much better.
Just some very rapid things to share about the great iPad acquiring exercise this morning:
— I arrived outside the mall that the Apple store is in at around 6:30AM. We were let inside the mall at just past 7:00AM. Right from that point, we were split into two lines – for those who had an iPad reserved and those who didn’t – and I was Number 7 in an initial reserved line of about 15 or so.
— Apple staff were excellent from start to finish. They really know how to handle these big launches. They came around with coffee and water for all the folks in line, got all of us who had reserved and iPad registered while we were in line, via just giving your name or showing your confirmation email.
— Everybody in line was excited and in very good spirits, so the time passed quickly and 9:00 rolled around before I knew it.
— Right on 9:00 they let the first 10 of us in the reserved line into the store. Apple staff were lined up 20 foot deep in the store high-fiving people as we walked in – and it seemed like there were three enthusiastic and helpful staff members for every customer.
— Checkout wasn’t just painless – it was actually really fun and helpful. A first staff member (Thanks Ricky!) told me about Apple Care (didn’t bite for now) and Mobile Me (already a subscriber), showed me accessories from Apple and third parties, offered me personal setup (yes please) and told me about iPad workshops in the store that would be running throughout the day, and got me checked out lickity split. Oh – and he encouraged me to play with an actual iPad on the counter while he got checkout done, and told me about cool things he’d spotted when playing with one earlier on.
— I ended up grabbing a nice looking In-case Convertible Book Jacket case (with ability to act as a stand in various different positions, and an iPod dock.
— Then I moved along to Personal Setup. Another very helpful staff member (Thanks Drew!) helped me unpack the iPad, get email setup, and grab iBooks from the App Store. He also shared some little new things he’d noticed (more on that soon) and was happy to answer any questions I had. Basically we spent a little while just getting a first run-through of the iPad.
— Nobody I dealt with seemed at all rushed. They all seemed genuinely excited about the iPad and very keen to help all of us customers to immediately get the most out of the device.
I was back at home with my new baby by 9:40.
All in all, a great morning. Apple really knows how to do these launches. Now – onto the fun part, getting to know the iPad.