Small Crowd For The iPad Mini: 10 Scenes From The Boston Launch4:00 PM EST Fri. Nov. 02, 2012
Apple's new iPad mini hit U.S. shelves on Nov. 2, drawing a crowd outside of Boston's three-story Apple store on Boylston Street.
The scene was complete with the usual line of sleepy-eyed shoppers, but was relatively tame compared to the sea of Apple fans that stretched for blocks when the iPhone 5 launched last month. There were about 75 shoppers in line, compared to the several hundred that lined up for the iPhone, possibly because the demand for the iPad mini was not as high than it was for the third-generation iPad released in March. The smaller-than-usual crowd also could have been attributed to the recent superstorm that devastated parts of the East Coast.
Boston storefront around 4 a.m., securing their spot in line for an 8 a.m. launch. To compare, shoppers started lining up a full two days before the launch of the iPhone 5.
Still, standing in line for four hours on a chilly, November morning in Boston is no easy feat, making those new iPad minis well-deserved.
Most shoppers were drawn to the iPad mini because of its compact size, viewing it as an even more portable alternative to its larger siblings. Patrick and Stefan (pictured here) decided to swing by the Apple store while visiting Boston from Germany. They were excited to return home, where they will be the first of their friends to own the new gadget.
The iPad mini will be their first Apple tablet.
Shoppers were greeted one by one by Apple store employees, before being ushered upstairs to make their purchase. The doors opened promptly at 8 a.m., but quietly, without Apple employees cheering or pumping up the crowd the way they did before the doors opened for the iPhone 5.
One shopper, Jennifer Pyclik (not pictured), waited in line for an hour to get her hands on the new iPad mini. But, unlike most in line, Pyclik wasn't buying Apple's latest and greatest invention for herself -- she was buying one to use as a prize for a local event being hosted by Boston-based nonprofit Community Builders.
Pyclik said the organization decided on the iPad mini vs. a larger iPad because of its more modest price point. "We don’t have a lot for big prizes," Pyclik said. "But people will still be excited about [Apple's] newest gadget."
Community Builders has spearheaded community housing projects both in Boston and around the country.
Eva Coghlan waited in line with her brother Cian (both pictured here) to grab a new iPad mini before returning home to Ireland after their trip to Boston. Eva was excited to be among the first of her classmates back home to have an iPad mini, and liked the tablet's smaller shape.
"I'll be able to bring it around more," she said.
The Coghlans also said purchasing an iPad mini in Boston would save them some cash, as the tablet costs about $150 more in Ireland.
Here, an excited young Apple fan runs out of the store after his iPad mini purchase, smiling from ear to ear.
Many shoppers said the iPad mini would be their first Apple tablet. But others, like Tony Tang (pictured here) were seasoned vets. Tony proudly said he has already purchased the iPad 2, iPad 3 and iPhone 4S, and is planning to add both an iPad mini (for his wife) and the new, fourth-generation full-sized iPad to the mix.
Tang said his wife was opting for the iPad mini because it's smaller and easier to use on-the-go.
Security guards were on hand, but shoppers trickled into the store calmly, and the line moved quickly. Those waiting in line chatted with one another, or played quietly on their smartphones, as they moved toward the front. Inside, the Apple store was fully stocked with employees that could easily manage the smaller-than-usual crowd.
This scene, again, was in stark contrast to the iPhone 5 launch last month, where a Tufts University student sold his spot in line for a not-so-shabby $460.
The new iPad mini sports a 7.9-inch screen (compared to the usual 9.7-inch design) and is Apple's debut offering in the smaller-sized tablet market. It will go head-to-head against Google's Nexus 7 and Amazon's 7-inch Kindle Fire HD, which have been embraced by consumers over the past few months, thanks to their shrunken-down form factors and ultra-lightweight designs.
Following suit, the new iPad mini weighs in at just 0.68 pounds and measures a barely-there 0.28 inches thick. It does, however, have a slightly lower-resolution display than the third- and fourth-generation full-sized iPads.
Apple's new tablet is available in a 16-GB version for $329, a 32-GB version for $429 and a 64-GB version for $529. Users can also splurge for a cellular-equipped model, starting at $459.