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Handhelds Apple

Hurricane Sandy Fails To Stop Line For iPad Mini Launch 103

Posted by Soulskill
from the neither-rain-nor-sleet-nor-$30-adapter dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "Hurricane Sandy may have plunged part of New York City into darkness, drowned its basements and subway tunnels in saltwater, and even set part of a neighborhood on fire, but it couldn't stop New Yorkers from standing in line for hours to purchase the iPad Mini. Hundreds of people lined up in front of Apple's Fifth Avenue store for the chance to get their hands on the 7.9-inch device. According to CNET, which was on the scene and running a live-blog ahead of the store's 10 AM EST opening, 'many people in line are not fluent in English and are either Asian immigrants or visitors.' That opening was originally supposed to take place at 8 AM, and likely delayed because of the obvious citywide transportation issues. But for those in New York City who manage to get their sweaty hands on a new iPad Mini, there's an unusual wrinkle in the situation: power is still out below 39th Street in Manhattan, as well as portions of Brooklyn and Queens. (Apple's Fifth Avenue store is well above that power line.) While some private homes and businesses in electrified areas have set out power strips for strangers to charge their phones, it's hard to imagine a crowd of New Yorkers standing idly by while someone spends a significant amount of time charging a new tablet. Fortunately, many of those without power have found refuge with friends and family, if they haven't left the city altogether."
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Hurricane Sandy Fails To Stop Line For iPad Mini Launch

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  • Register article (Score:5, Informative)

    by ledow (319597) on Friday November 02, 2012 @11:12AM (#41853303) Homepage

    According to The Reg, the reception in the UK was a little more lukewarm:

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/11/02/ipad_mini_queue/ [theregister.co.uk]

    "UK iPad Mini FRENZY: Queues stretch SEVERAL FEET from till" (till = checkout).

    • by Anubis IV (1279820) on Friday November 02, 2012 @11:20AM (#41853389)

      Yeah, even the Apple rumor sites are reporting shorter lines [macrumors.com]. Which is to be expected, since the iPhone is much more popular than the iPad in terms of sales and there wasn't as much pent-up demand as what you'd see when you've waited a year to release a new product, but even so, I'm guessing it's less than what Apple was anticipating. It remains to be seen, however, just how this will reflect on total sales through the holiday season. It may very well be a little foreshadowing in the story.

      • by Bogtha (906264)

        Which is to be expected, since the iPhone is much more popular than the iPad in terms of sales and there wasn't as much pent-up demand as what you'd see when you've waited a year to release a new product

        Also the only models that are available on launch day are the Wi-Fi only models. Everybody who wants a cellular model is waiting until late November.

        • by slinches (1540051)

          This may be a bit off topic, but I really don't understand why someone would want cell service on a tablet. How often do people use tablets when they have neither wifi access nor a phone they can tether to? It seems a very limited use case to justify the expense.

          I must be missing something since they seem to be relatively popular.

          Back on-topic

          The biggest reason I think enthusiasm is limited on the iPad mini is the lack of a high resolution display. They needed to price it comparably to the other 7" range

          • Well, i got a full sized tablet, and don't have a phone to tether it to, though I did get a mobile hotspot for it (found one that i can have a plan as low as free for 500mb, up to around 70 for 10gb a month i think it was and quite a few in between)

          • by aclarke (307017)
            I pay $15/month for 250MB on my iPad. I bought the 3G original iPad not so much because it's "3G", but because it's "GPS", which I use often. I'm out and about quite a lot with it, and I also use the data plan regularly. It's not enough data for streaming Netflix for my kids, but I check email, weather, download a book, or whatever with it.

            If I want to tether the iPad to my iPhone, I can, but I have to set it up each time. When I just want to use the iPad for a minute, $15/month is something I've bee
          • by Bogtha (906264)

            How often do people use tablets when they have neither wifi access nor a phone they can tether to?

            A lot of the time. Most countries aren't like the USA, free Wi-Fi is difficult to find. In addition, data tethering with your phone may be limited depending on which plan you have, and even if it's available, it's inconvenient and battery draining.

            Even Apple can't get away with charging a premium with a substandard display.

            Since when is the display "substandard"? "Not Retina" is not the same thin

            • by slinches (1540051)

              Okay ... maybe the resolution isn't completely substandard, but it is certainly below average [wikipedia.org] and carries the highest price tag of any of the sanely priced wifi-only models (I have no idea what Toshiba was thinking trying to get $500 for the Excite 7.7).

              As far as the need for cell service on a tablet, I can now see the value a bit more clearly from your post as well as others. It still seems like it would be more expensive, but I could see where the convenience may be worth it.

      • Poor and expensive attempt to try compete with Amazon and droid market. I am sure NY people asked for a fully charge iPad Mini since most do not have power still.
        • by KDR_11k (778916)

          I doubt they cared about power. The summary says they're mostly immigrants and such, it's a very common tactic by scalpers to pay immigrants and such to stand in line and buy the early stock so they can then resell it for a premium. No idea how they keep the immigrants loyal enough to actually buy the thing and bring it over instead of running off with either the money or the device but it seems to work.

      • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

        Meanwhile, the only lines the Nexus 7 has had, are the ones flashing on the display.

    • by ewrong (1053160) on Friday November 02, 2012 @11:59AM (#41853843)
      Yep these were the scenes of chaos outside Apple store Covent Garden this morning: https://twitter.com/mmalex/status/264296937665212417/photo/1/large [twitter.com]
    • Even in Palo Alto, the Mercury News reports that reaction was "meh". No big lines. Someone showed up at 2AM expecting a line, and no one was there.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      According to the spam I got from Apple this morning, the reception was lukewarm in the USA, too. Otherwise, why spam me to try to sell me one?

      • by jittles (1613415)
        Actually I got an email from BestBuy begging me to come wait in line at the local stores, too. I personally hate best buy, but there really is no where else to go around here (so I am a reward zone member). When I saw the email I thought "This must be for something next week..." not even realizing that its November already.
  • You can't stop progress?

  • My house has been destroyed. I don't have power. My dog is dead. There is a oil tanker where my front yard used to be. And I haven't bathed since Monday.

    But dammit, I *will* be hip for one brief, shining minute!

  • People are stupid (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bleh-of-the-huns (17740) on Friday November 02, 2012 @11:25AM (#41853447)

    That is the only possible answer.

    • I don't know; "hundreds of people" in a city of 13 million or so isn't a very high percent of the population. There have to be at least a few hundred fanbois in NYC willing to wait in line!!
  • of the next super-storm.

  • Life is actually fairly normal in Manhattan north of 23rd Street, so I'm not surprised.

    In fact, lack of power is the only thing keeping the rest of Manhattan from normalizing; MTA even has the subways ready to go, they just need juice.

    Hopefully it'll all be fixed before I visit in a week!

  • by e065c8515d206cb0e190 (1785896) on Friday November 02, 2012 @11:36AM (#41853603)
    is all I'm sayin'
  • While some private homes and businesses in electrified areas have set out power strips for strangers to charge their phones, it's hard to imagine a crowd of New Yorkers standing idly by while someone spends a significant amount of time charging a new tablet.

    A) They'll come out of the box fully charged.

    B) They don't particularly take longer to charge than a cell phone.

    • by omnichad (1198475)

      Batteries drain in storage, and I believe are usually shipped at 50% charge due to other issues with the stability of the batteries under shipping conditions.

      Although since the Apple store has power, they could take half of them out and pre-charge them to 100% and give the buyers a choice. Or the buyer could probably charge in the store.

      • by tlhIngan (30335) <<ten.frow> <ta> <todhsals>> on Friday November 02, 2012 @12:47PM (#41854445)

        Batteries drain in storage, and I believe are usually shipped at 50% charge due to other issues with the stability of the batteries under shipping conditions.

        Although since the Apple store has power, they could take half of them out and pre-charge them to 100% and give the buyers a choice. Or the buyer could probably charge in the store.

        Actually, Apple's products don't tend to sit on shelves - from manufacture to the time it's sold, it'll probably be around a week, and most of it has been just waiting for the pallet to fill up, waiting for the shipper it pick it up, shipping it from China to the warehouse in the US, then distributing it out from there.

        If you go by date codes, the whole process can easily be as little as 4 days (same week) to basically "last week". Since iPads and iPhones don't normally linger on shelves too long, Apple charges them up all the way so the user can use it immediately.

        The 40% charge is a shipment charge for products that move slower as it's been empirically determined that it ages the batteries the slowest.

        It's actually sort of unusual to find an Apple product out of the box that doesn't have 95+% charge. They just don't sit on shelves that long.

  • The sheep will queue at the wolfs doorway for the latest IPoo, sickening.

  • >> 'many people in line are not fluent in English and are either Asian immigrants or visitors.'

    Right, because New Yorkers are naturally a compassionate people, without the usual morons (e.g., http://asset1.cbsistatic.com/cnwk.1d/i/tim/2012/11/02/madison1_610x407.jpg [cbsistatic.com]) found elsewhere in America.

    >> While some private homes and businesses in electrified areas have set out power strips for strangers to charge their phones, it's hard to imagine a crowd of New Yorkers standing idly by while someone sp

  • The article is focused on power and transportation - we're heading for 100 dead as a result of Sandy. The plurality of those deaths occurred in New York City. Last night they added a few more dead to the list, including a pair of toddlers that were pulled away from their mother by a sudden wave -- while she was trying to run down the street fleeing her burning home. That one is haunting me.
  • by Andrio (2580551) on Friday November 02, 2012 @12:33PM (#41854263)
    It's not every day something as innovative as an 8" tablet comes out.
  • You know, if Armageddon or the Zombie Apocalypse come to be, Americans are so very screwed.

    [cue video of slightly overweight and under-fit dude puffing and running from a shambling zombie hoard]
    He's just about to escape when he passes by a dessicated corpse with an iPad clutched in its hands.
    "oooo" iPad mini
    As he reaches for the mini, the corpse reaches up and grabs his arm, holding him in place as the shamblers catch up and have a nice meaty snack.

  • by blind biker (1066130) on Friday November 02, 2012 @12:41PM (#41854371) Journal

    Looking at the specs of the iPad Mini: crappy dual-core CPU, crappy screen, 0.5 GB RAM, glued battery etc. and the fact that it's basically the iPad 2 shrunk, I came to the conclusion that this is a product on which Apple spent nearly 0 engineering and it is made from super-cheap components. In other words, at US$ 330 for the cheapest model and a whopping US$ 530 for the 32 GB model, Apple is going to make a fucking profit genocide! This goes beyond printing money, this is like stealing candy from toddlers, except the candy is made from platinum.

    From a purely profit POV, this might very well be Apple's most successful product, ever.

    Sadly!

    • From a purely profit POV, this might very well be Apple's most successful product, ever.

      Only if the lame specs don't kill the Christmas market. Granted, this will likely be the most successful Apple product ever at driving away customers after they compare their new overpriced toy to the Nexus tablet everybody else got and learn the truth.

    • by sootman (158191)

      Interesting analysis. Too bad you're exactly wrong.

      > The iPad mini's gross margin is "significantly below" the rest of
      > Apple's product line at $329, Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer said
      > on the company's conference call today.

      http://techcrunch.com/2012/10/25/apple-says-the-ipad-minis-gross-margin-is-significantly-lower-than-other-products/ [techcrunch.com]

      Also, it's $530 for the 64 GB model, not 32.

  • Buying lines mini.

  • by Tough Love (215404) on Friday November 02, 2012 @12:52PM (#41854497)

    Apparently, being overdrawn at the bank [neowin.net] didn't stop them either.

    • From your linked article:

      Of those surveyed, one in five iPhone users said that their main bank account is almost always overdrawn. In comparison, almost half of Android and Blackberry users said they were never overdrawn.

      So from this comment, I can deduce the following:

      • - ~80% of iPhone users' bank accounts are usually in the black, and
      • - ~50% of Android/Blackberry users' bank accounts are always in the black.

      In other news, sometimes men prefer oranges to grapefruit, whereas often women are known to not prefer grapefruit to oranges.

      • It must be groovy to live life with Apple glasses on.

      • By the way, do you like to post fallacies intentionally or do you just not understand logic? "20% of of iPhone users are almost always overdrawn" does not imply that "~80% of iPhone users' bank accounts are usually in the black".

        • by KDR_11k (778916)

          The point remains though, those two percentages measure completely different things.

  • First

    many people in line are not fluent in English and are either Asian immigrants or visitors.'

    Are we getting a start on next weeks complaints from the Tea Party vote suppression brigade? 'Oh, theres a bus of voters that aren't the same color as us.' 'Oh theres a bus of votes who don't speak english.' I bet when the bus of voters from the church comes, and their minister tells them vote for the anti-christ or go to hell, the tea party people aren't going to be complaining. I understand that this st

    • by aclarke (307017)

      Are we getting a start on next weeks complaints from the Tea Party vote suppression brigade? 'Oh, theres a bus of voters that aren't the same color as us.' 'Oh theres a bus of votes who don't speak english.' I bet when the bus of voters from the church comes, and their minister tells them vote for the anti-christ or go to hell, the tea party people aren't going to be complaining. I understand that this statement was put in to make people believe that no one except scalpers are buying the iPad, but that is simply not true no matter how much one wants it to be true. Facts are not based on personal beliefs. I am sure if you went into any major shop many of the people purchasing would be visitors. That is what NYC run.

      Did you read the article? No of course not, how naive of me. That was the point of the comment in the article. They even interviewed some of them to show that, for example, two of the purchaers were a father and son from Brazil.

  • And lo, the Heavens opened up, and a great deluge descended upon the earth... and there was great suffering and destruction.

    and the people stood in orderly lines while others suffered, awaiting the new mini-bread-and-circus. /s

  • by sootman (158191) on Friday November 02, 2012 @01:44PM (#41855159) Homepage Journal

    Hate to get in the way of a good Apple-bashing but I wanted to say two things.

    > it's hard to imagine a crowd of New Yorkers standing idly by while
    > someone spends a significant amount of time charging a new tablet.

    They come from the factory fully charged, or close to.

    And, unrelated to the story in particular, mine arrived this morning and I'm very happy with it so far. Ever since tablets were first on the horizon (post-iPhone and Kindle but pre-everything else) I always wanted one the size of a paperback. When the iPad came out, I thought it was too big. Tried it, didn't care for it much. I bought one to do a bit of testing and development on and figured I'd see if I grew to like it. I didn't, and sold it a few months later. (I bought a refurbished iPad 1 shortly after the 2 came out, so it was cheap, and I sold it for not much of a loss -- basically I rented it for like $8 a month which wasn't bad since it was for work.)

    I ordered the Mini as soon as I could and it arrived this morning and it's great. It's a great size and very light. The screen, while not retina, is still good -- we were all happy with our old iPhones before the 4 came along, right? :-)

    It's not for everyone but for a lot of people it will be very appealing.

  • Still trying to figure out what the market is. Small and more mobile you have a iphone or ipod. Larger and more functional you have the regular sized ipad. Exactly what niche (or is that the point) is this serving?

"If that makes any sense to you, you have a big problem." -- C. Durance, Computer Science 234

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