Fanbois? Or excellent marketing for a great product?
If the queues were shorter, I would agree they were only populated by fanbois. I'm sure there are some in almost all queues, but the majority of these iPad customers are not fanbois.
People from all walks of life are flocking to buy and find out more about one of the most talked about IT releases in years - this isn't a fanboi masturbation contest, but one of the slickest marketing operations by an IT company we've seen in a long time. Think about the yards of newspaper and magazine column type, the reams of blog entries, and the cacophony of tweets - all covering the iPad. During this massive ground-swelling of public comment, feedback and desire, I only saw my first official Apple iPad advert a couple of days ago; this is a very sweet demonstration of how to do mass marketing in the 21st century.
Of course, it helps that the product is pretty decent too: it has a wide-ranging application base, intuitive UI, looks fabulous and 'just works' - it's a typical Apple product and the attention to detail shines through.
Customers (and shareholders, for that matter) love the innovation that repeatedly emerges from Apple. The aspect we need to recognise is that this innovation applies just as much to sales and marketing as it does to technology.
Love them or hate them, Apple and Google are pushing the boundaries of IT and they are making Microsoft look boring, old-fashioned and completely out of touch by comparison. Think about it: iPhone, Android, iPad, GoogleTV, ... versus just another rehashed version of Windows or MS Office. This is why shareholders are flocking to Google and Apple, and are deserting Microsoft.
ObDisclosure: I use Apple products, own Apple shares, but I don't consider myself a fanboi. And no, I don't have an iPad.