Rush to get Apple's new iPad in Australia

2012-03-15 16:47
Sydney - Apple's new iPad went on sale in Australia on Friday, greeted by throngs of fans hungry to get hold of the US consumer giant's latest, 4G-ready tablet computer.

While numbers were down on launches of earlier iPads, the still-solid turnout reflects demand for Apple products, even though analysts say the new version is a collection of incremental improvements rather than a major technological innovation.

The initial rush for the first iPad 3s sold globally was not at one of Apple's gleaming glass and polished wooden stores in Sydney, but across the road at Australian phone company Telstra . Telstra opened two stores just after midnight local time to begin selling the iPad, stealing an eight-hour march on Apple.

David Tarasenko, a 34-year-old construction manager, who was the first to pick up the iPad, said he couldn't wait ever since Apple chief executive Tim Cook revealed the third iteration of the tablet.

"When Tim Cook announced it, it sounded like such a magical tool. I just got hyped into it, I guess," he said.


The third-generation iPad from Apple - which sports a high-definition "retina" display and comes with a better camera - starts at $499. It is capable of operating on high-speed 4G "LTE," or Long-Term Evolution network, although it is not compatible with Telstra's 4G network in Australia.

"The [lack of 4G access] is not a game-breaker. They've upgraded the 3G technology, which I've tried and it's pretty snappy," said Cameron Ing, a data storage administrator.

The iPad 3 is going on sale on Friday in 10 countries, including the United States, Canada, Singapore, France and United Kingdom.

Among those in the queue outside Sydney's flagship Apple Store was Stephen Parkes, who was paid A$950 [$990] to wait in line for four days by the founder of an odd jobs website.

"I get a high waiting in the line and picking up one of the first products being retailed," said Ryan Han, a student at the University of New South Wales, who had also queued for hours.

"I did that for iPad 1, 2 and will do it for 4 as well," said Han, who was hoping to buy two iPads, for himself and a friend.

Such is the demand for new Apple products that middlemen often pay "mules" to buy the latest versions and transport them to markets scheduled for later releases.

A middle-aged Asian man outside the Apple store, flanked by two blue suitcases, said he was hoping to buy several new iPads, ideally more than 10. He declined to reveal his name, nationality or who he was buying the tablets for.

55 million iPads sold

Apple's market capitalisation now exceeds $500bn and Wall Street thinks it can expand further should fan-demand persist.

Early signs hint at a strong 2012 for the device, which competes with Samsung Electronic's Galaxy, among others.

Despite soggy weather, small crowds had already gathered outside the downtown San Francisco Apple store ahead of the launch in the United States.

Apple began accepting orders for the device on March 7, but wait times for shipping the device are now two to three weeks in the United States.

Wall Street expects a strong start for the iPad 3, and some analysts even expect sales of the current model to overtake the iPad 2. Apple will continue to sell the iPad 2 but dropped its price by $100 to start at $399.

Apple may sell 65.6 million iPads, estimated Canaccord Genuity analysts who also raised their target price on Apple stock to $710 from $665.

So far, the company has sold 55 million iPads since it launched the device in 2010.

Tablet sales are expected to increase to 326 million by 2015 with Apple largely dominating the market, according to research firm Gartner.

Read more on:    apple  |  australia  |  ipad

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

linking and moving

2015-04-22 07:36 publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.