20 Cool Scenes From Apple's iPad Launch

Tablet Rasa

Apple's iPad tablet computer arrived at retail outlets Saturday with all the fanfare associated with the iconic technology company's major product releases. Will this 9.7-inch, multi-touch device be a "game-changer" for Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple? Tablet computers may be a small product segment right now, but the iPad is already selling briskly and it's even got some pretty robust business apps just days after its release.

For now, though, most Apple fans are simply basking in the joy of getting their hands on their first iPad. Thousands celebrated "iPad Day" across the nation Saturday as Apple began selling its new product at Apple Stores in U.S. cities. Here's a rundown of scenes from those events.

Conformist Yell

Author and tech blogger Robert Scoble exults in his iPad purchase after emerging from the Apple Store in Palo Alto, Calif., where Apple CEO Steve Jobs later made a low-key appearance to talk to customers. Scoble camped out in front of the Apple Store for most of Friday and into the night to earn the first spot in line when the store opened at 9 a.m. Pacific on Saturday to kick off its first day of iPad sales.

True Devotion

Devoted Apple fans bundle up in the early morning hours Saturday ahead of the opening of the Apple Store in Palo Alto. Bay Area iPad buyers braved gloomy skies and drizzly conditions to be amongst the first to purchase iPads at the region's retail outlets.

Apple Royalty

Bill Atkinson, right, shares some cookies with a friend outside the Palo Alto store on Saturday. Atkinson, an early Apple employee, helped develop the original Macintosh and was the creator of MacPaint and the scroll-down menu, among his many contributions to computing. Atkinson bought a couple iPads Saturday, but they weren't his first. He said he had already received one as a gift last week -- from Jobs himself, accompanied by a card that read, "To Bill, there's some of your DNA in here."


3 ... 2 ... 1 ... iPads!

Apple Store staff greet customers in Palo Alto as the sale of iPads begins. Hundreds gathered in front of the retail outlet, counting down the seconds to the opening of the Apple Store's front doors at 9 a.m. PST. Apple employees received last-minute instructions from team leaders inside the store about 30 minutes before opening, then began cheering along with the crowd outside as the zero hour approached.

Let's Buy Two!

A customer emerges from the Apple Store in Palo Alto with a pair of new iPads. Customers who had pre-ordered the new product were seen coming out of the Apple Store with as many as five iPads. Some planned to outfit their whole family with an iPad, while a common plan was to replace the device with the 3G version that is set to come out later in the year.

Best View On The Street

A young Apple fan sits atop dad's shoulders as the crowd outside the Apple Store in Palo Alto prepares for the doors to open.

Ready For Sale

Inside the Palo Alto store, Apple iPads are stacked up and ready for the oncoming horde. Apple Store staff greeted two types of customer on Saturday, those who had pre-ordered an iPad and those who just popped in to buy one on the fly.

An Apple A Day

This young iPad owner will likely be the envy of her classmates at school on Monday. Saturday's Apple Store event in Palo Alto was a family-friendly affair, with plenty of kids accompanying their parents in kicking off the iPad Era.

A Touch Of Class

A pair of Apple Store customers enjoy a cross-generational tap on the new iPad in Palo Alto. The iPad's user interface extends the intuitive, popular iPhone interface to an even larger screen.

Set Those iPads Free!

Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, more than 100 people gathered at the Apple Store at the Fair Oaks Mall in Fairfax, Virg. The Fairfax store was decked out from floor to ceiling with iPad-related marketing, accessories, and of course, the iPads themselves. Here, a peak at the iPad display table before the gates opened Saturday morning.

Countdown To Go Time

Apple Store employees prepare to raise the gates in Fairfax and kick off sales of iPads. Prior to opening, the staff brought out coffee and water for the customers standing in line, some of whom had been waiting since 6 a.m. on Saturday.

iPad Island

Apple iPads go on sale at the Smithaven Mall in Lake Grove, N.Y. on Saturday morning. Dozens of customers waited for their chance to enter the Long Island outlet, with Apple staff letting people enter in groups of about five or 10 at a time. Customers who pre-ordered the new device received a free iPad training sessions once they got inside.

Mass Appeal

Apple customers queue up for iPads at the Apple Store in Natick, Mass. An Apple Store employee said there were already some people in line when workers arrived at 7 a.m. and she thought the first had been there as early as 5 a.m. "But we don't think anyone slept in their cars," she said.

First Served

Robin Kim of Wayland, Mass. emerges from the Apple Store in Natick -- one of the first customers to purchase an iPad. Apple Store employees began letting in a few people at a time promptly at 9 a.m., and every iPad buyer was greeted by a reception line of applauding and high-fiving store employees.

San Francisco Treat

The scene at the Apple Store off Market Street in San Francisco heats up as the countdown to opening begins. Media, customers and interested onlookers enjoyed a brief respite from the wet weather that lashed the region Friday and Sunday, but left people mostly dry on iPad launch day. Getting the weather to comply with your product launch event ... wonder if there's an app for that.

I Got Mine, Jack

Two customers come out of the San Francisco Apple Store with their brand new iPads, as a sea of cameras capture the moment.

Good Times

Apple fans enjoy the anticipation as they stand in line for a chance to buy a new iPad at the Apple Store in San Francisco. The first iPad sales day, like so many Apple product launch events, was as much of a celebration of Apple fandom as it is was simply a shopping excursion.

Window Shopping

A potential customer takes in the iPad marketing message outside the Apple Store in Palo Alto. As impressive as the first day of iPad sales was, the early figures could prove a drop in the bucket compared to the millions of units that analysts predict Apple will sell in 2010.

Game, Set, Change

So where will the Apple iPad fit in with your business? ChannelWeb.com's Ed Moltzen predicts that the "iPad will change use patterns, alter expectations and force PC makers that compete with Apple to change their strategies." And despite the fact that the iPad is "not a business device," he continues, Apple's iPhone operation system could even "give Windows 7 a run for its money this year in number of devices actually used for business." Stay tuned.