back to article Apple Store staff outnumber queues as new iPad goes on sale

Braying hordes of fanbois hungry for new iPads failed to turn up outside Blighty's Apple stores today despite months of rumour, hype and speculation. Although slab shoppers were nonchalant in London, they were positively wet in Scotland. A queue of hundreds swiftly ebbed away outside the fruity tech titan's Regent Street …


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  1. JDX Gold badge

    What kind of div would stand in the rain...

    ...oh wait, an El Reg photographer!

    1. LarsG

      Re: What kind of div would stand in the rain...

      Well they are now being sold on for over £1000!!!!!

      Order one on the Apple site now and the wait is only two weeks. My delivery date 5th April.

      What mug is stupid enough to buy it for that price.

      Not me.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        just out of interest

        Do they get free laser etching in the store?

        1. Ian McNee

          Re: just out of interest

          Yes - on the forehead: iMugged

      2. mfraz

        Re: What kind of div would stand in the rain...

        £1000 for an ElReg photographer? I'll take 3!

  2. thesykes

    the numpty who queued 4 days for one must've been just a tad pissed off at the bloke who arrived at nine and just walked in and bought one.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I think young Mr Ali has way too much time on his hands and obviously more money than sense to boot!

      1. mraak

        Come on...

        You don't have to be really rich to afford a gadget like iPad.

        1. Alan 6


          You may not have to be rich, but I'd say at least 80% of the population couldn't spare the sort of cash needed to fund an Apple addiction...

        2. TheFirstChoice

          Re: Come on...

          No, but you do need more money than sense...

      2. Gary Riches

        Have you never realised people who more money than you could possibly have _more_ sense than you?

        The Reg hasn't covered it so no one is to know but the guy at the front is brain damaged. He does amazing things considering his disability and he was queueing with the help of his friends and family.

        1. Paul_Murphy

          I have just read up on him, he has aspergers, likes Apple products a lot and goes to apple in-store tutorials since he has finished school - so apple is where he is learning now.

          We wants to work at Apple some day

          Good luck to him.

          1. Arctic fox
            Thumb Up

            @Paul_Murphy:Re. "We wants to work at Apple some day..........

            .............Good luck to him."

            Despite the fact that I and my good lady do not have a singe Apple product in the house (and have no desire to), I heartily agree - we wish him nothing but the best.

    2. Simpson
      Thumb Up

      Zohaib needs more practice on giving a thumbs-up.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hello.. Apple Store, how may I help?

    What time do you open, I want to buy an iPad 3?

    What time can you get here?

    I'll get my coat...

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The TNT driver who delivered mine this morning had his truck full of them.

    Tesco selling them at 00:01 possibly also helped keep the queues low.

    1. Grease Monkey

      Tesco didn't honour their accidentally low advertised price.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        would you, if it meant you were losing money?

      2. tommy060289
        Big Brother

        cynical maybe

        But I doubt it was accidental...

        nothing like a bit of controversy to remind the public that 'hey, we sell iPads too ya know!'

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who paid

    for the barriers - must have had local council/police OK - obstruction of the pavement is an offence.

    PS - the look of those Apple staff doesn't fill me with confidence in their skills. I did say "look" though. does anyone know any good questions to see if the staff are up to speed (or to wind them up?)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Who paid

      Apple probably paid for the barriers, this is normal with a 'sales' like event.

      Westminster Council are very fussy about the pavement being blocked, especially across the road in Soho where they will impose the most draconian measures and threaten to shut the business down, whereas their contractors can get away with blue murder.

    2. PaulR79

      Re: Who paid

      How to wind up Apple staff? Ask them what version of Android it runs perhaps.

      1. Arctic fox

        @PaulR79 "Re: Who paid". Indeed,the temptation to ask them when it............

        ...........will get it's ICS update would be irresistible!



      2. Nuke
        Thumb Up

        Apple Staff Wind Up

        Bring up a full screen bash terminal session on one of their demo laptops, type a random comand like "ls -al" and leave it that way. It won't fit their image.

    3. Brezhnev's Shadow

      Re: Who paid

      Ask them what a MAC address is ;)

  6. Paul Renault

    "Apple Store staff outnumber queues". Well, of course!

    Just how many queues do you need? Do you really need more than one queue?

    Anyway, from what I could tell from the photos, even if there would have been more than one queue, the store staff would STILL have outnumbered the queuees.

    Unless you count empty queues.

    1. P. Lee Silver badge

      Doesn't "staff" cover all the employees?

      In which case, there would be an equal number of queues and staff.

      Unless the purchasers get out of hand and start forming queues in different places. Is there a One True Till in an Apple shop, or are their many paths to Purchase?

      I suppose one or more of the staff could have brought a staff into the shop, but that might mean they meant to go to a WoW convention. It does seem unlikely though - would you bring the Staff of Weirdness [+2 Clapping] to work? Oh wait...

      I'm not sure what happens if the staff have a staff infection.

      It's time to get my coat.

  7. tmTM


    The terms seems to get some peoples backs up. But when they turn up to buy the item 4 days before it's released I think all of the mocking is appropriate.

    The lack of normal stupidity is a good sign, perhaps people have finally realised that queuing at midnight to buy the next, slightly updated version of what you already have is a complete mugs game.

    1. Kevin 6

      Re: Fanbois?

      Nah doubt people learned "that queuing at midnight to buy the next, slightly updated version of what you already have is a complete mugs game."

      I think its more along the lines of Steve Jobs being dead. Without anyone doing huge press reviews, while wearing a black turtle neck to look different, telling them it was the newest most revolutionary device ever made that would make their life complete they obviously didn't queue up.

    2. ThomH Silver badge

      Re: Fanbois?

      In this case the term fanbois would offend me since only exactly one person turned up four days early. What are you going to do next? Split the infinitive?

  8. Mondo the Magnificent

    To quote the last "sensible" iPad 3 article...


  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Most sensible people either pre-ordered, or bought from other retailers that either opened early (PC World etc) or ordered from John Lewis to take advantage of the 2 year warranty instead of the usual 1 year warranty.

    1. Tim Parker


      "or ordered from John Lewis to take advantage of the 2 year warranty instead of the usual 1 year warranty."

      The European Directive 1999/44/EC says all EU countries have to ensure a retailer can be held liable for all "non-conformities" which manifest within two years from delivery, and the Sale Of Goods Act should cover faults in the goods themselves (for the thick end of the six years given the premium status and price associated with Apple). The John Lewis route would most likely be the more convenient route however, but not the only one.

      1. Jon Press

        Re: Warranty

        They can, but under the Sale of Goods Act the responsibility is on the consumer to prove the "non conformity" after 6 months of ownership in the event of the retailer not cooperating. A two year "no questions" warrant is more than just "likely" to be more convenient than paying an independent expert to prove the fault and then attempting to recoup that from the retailer.

        1. Tim Parker

          Re: Warranty

          "A two year "no questions" warrant is more than just "likely" to be more convenient than paying an independent expert to prove the fault and then attempting to recoup that from the retailer."

          Of course - "in the event of the retailer not cooperating" as you say - but the 'likely' was taking into account those retailers for which this would not be an issue, as well as those that would. My own experience with taking goods back to high street retailers for faulty goods outside of the usual one year warranty has so far been very good (although perhaps not a huge sample size) - which suggests that some of them, at least, tend to understand the intent of the law - and/or the potential issues of nick-picking the letter of it.

          I'm not knocking the extra convenience of John Lewis' warranty - it's something I use when judging purchases myself, even if it's not (in reality) a 'no questions' one - I was merely try to highlight certain rights for those that might not be 100% aware.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No - most sensible people wouldnt buy one

    3. tommy060289

      judging by the state of the iMac at an apple store that had been 'repaired' by JL

      I'd rather give my iMac to the cretins on Jeremy Kyle to repair.

      A girl I met at an apple store a few months ago had brought in her iMac as John Lewis had sent the thing back worse than what it was sent in. Covered in gunk, issue not fixed and a chipped stand.

    4. Mage Silver badge

      ... pre-ordered, or bought from other retailers ...

      Or didn't and won't buy one at all.

  10. Lord Lien

    @ Mondo the Magnificent....

    ... its more than just an Ipad... its..... its..... OK, your right its just an iPad.

  11. g e


    Must admit to being completely amazed - I expected hordes of braying fanbois (and gurlz) to be taking up entire blocks of pavement, all a-twitter about how they're queueing for a V3 via their V2 tablets with their V1 as a backup in case the battery died.

    But no. It's like some kind of crazy outbreak of common sense or something.

    Maybe everyone mail-ordered this time round? Perhaps bosses got wise and wouldn't allow any annual leave on a launch day to improve their own chances!

    1. Grease Monkey

      Re: Blimey

      Even fanbois had to get it sooner or later.

  12. Anonymous Coward


    If you're sleeping Rough the best place is outside an Apple Store, you just tell the Fuzz you're queueing for the latest iWhatever and you don't get moved on, there's also a good chance of getting your face in the paper and (maybe) a free cup of Coffee.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Co incidence

    One of our execs has just returned his iPad2 to the service desk with a massive dent in the side and unresponsive controls.

    Funnily enough his iPad1 screen mysteriously shattered on the launch day of the iPad2.

    I'm pleased his bad luck won't mean a long queue for whichever wonk has to head over to Apple's shop with a corporate credit card.

    1. DrXym Silver badge

      Re: Co incidence

      I don't see any reason to tolerate someone doing this even if they are an exec. Send his iPad off for repair and tell him it will take two weeks before he gets it back or give him a refurb.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Co incidence

        Why is his business case for a Hi-Res screen? He'll get a v2 unless he geniunely has a case for a V3.

        No-one has the bollox to say it tho.

        1. P. Lee Silver badge

          Re: Co incidence

          He needs the better camera for marketing videos of himself for the intranet.

      2. Tom 35 Silver badge

        Re: Co incidence

        I had that problem where I used to work with BlackBerry. I kept some old models (had one B/W one that I threatened them with) and that soon put an end to Opps I slipped, oh I hear there is a new model. Same for Laptops a nice D800 tank while we get yours serviced.

        1. Vic

          Re: Co incidence

          > a nice D800 tank while we get yours serviced.

          Don't suppose you've got any D600s, have you?

          Mine has started to fail quite badly...


    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Co incidence

      Happened twice now?

      Time to sign him up for the "Caring for our IT equipment" course. I'm sure BOFH could think up some of the course content.


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