Fans of Apple on four continents got their hands on the latest version of the iPad tablet on Friday, but despite the carefully orchestrated ritual that accompanied its release, the excitement remained moderate for lack of spectacular innovation.
This third version in three years of one of the best-selling products by the apple brand, after the iPhone, was distributed for the first time in ten countries: Australia, Japan, Singapore, France, Germany, Switzerland, United Kingdom United, United States, Canada and Hong Kong.
In Australia, first served because of the time difference, fans gathered in front of the Sydney department store Apple just hours before the sale, while last year some camped four days before the release of the previous model.
Elsewhere, some “addicts” have kept their habit of waiting more than a day, like Ryo Watanabe, a student from Tokyo. "I got it! It's been 36 hours since I was there, ”he exclaimed when leaving a store. But after serving a few hundred impatient people, the Apple Store in the upscale Ginza district was soon abandoned.
In the Covent Garden area of London, where Europe’s largest Apple store is located, nude vendors of blue T-shirts gave an ola to the hundreds of fans waiting in the cold.
First in line, Dipak Varsani, 21, had waited almost 24 hours, armed with a hat, gloves and a folding chair: "This is the third time I have done this, but this time, I had eaten something", explained this "Apple fan". “Last year, for the new iPhone, the tail was much longer, it was crazy, really crazy”said Luciana Rolesu, 42, an Italian living in London.
Paris, around fifty people were lining up around 10 a.m. in front of the Apple store near the Opra, under the watchful eye of around thirty guards – including many foreigners, especially from Eastern countries o the tablet is not yet distributed.
In front of the glass cube that serves as the entrance to Apple’s New York store on Fifth Avenue, Eric Ladd, 38, was the first to go out with the new iPad. "I flew from Brazil", he said, after spending 30 hours standing in line. "In Brazil it will take three or four months, so I will be among the first to have it".
Three hours later, in San Francisco, 300 people were waiting for the opening, including Esther Kwok, Bonnie Leo and Mon Wong, three young Hong Kong girls who had decided to spend the night under the drizzle a few hours after the plane. "It’s a good experience ”says Mrs. Kwok, “We have fun with friends, talking and playing on the iPad” old generation.
In these two American cities, buyers were surrounded by some protesters from the organization Change.org, which campaigns for better working conditions at Apple's subcontractors. "The 255,000 people who signed (a petition from Change.org) are not only interested in the design of incredible products (from Apple), they also want to know the human cost," said William Winters, 32, a protester. San Francisco.
On Friday, 22 more European countries, as well as New Zealand, Mexico and Macao, will have access to the new iPad, which is more powerful and has a better quality image than the previous one.
499 dollars, the entry-level price has not changed, but models linked to 4G cellular networks are sold for 629 829 dollars.
"As soon as Apple launches a new product, we expect a major innovation. There, there are a lot of features (…) which are much better but improve the product at the margin ”, says Thomas Husson, analyst at Forrester.