TRUMBULL, Conn.-While people in New York City and California camped out in front of Apple stores for a chance to buy the Apple iPad, the best place to pick up one of the hallowed devices may have been at the Best Buy in Trumbull, a small town in Connecticut's Fairfield County.
By 9 a.m. on April 3, Best Buy employees had handed out only a handful of tickets to people interested in purchasing one of the tablet computers, which are available in WiFi only with capacities of 16GB, 32GB and 64GB for $499, $599 and $699, respectively. Versions of the iPad with 3G cellular service from AT&T go on sale later this month for $629 (16GB), $729 (32GB) and $829 (64GB).
Analyst estimates for units sold vary, but researcher iSuppli expects Apple to see sales of 7.1 million iPads in 2010. The Federal Communications Commission published a complete teardown of the device, whichiFixit details here.
Trumbull resident Greg Dowling, vice president of analytics for consulting firm Semphonic, pulled into the Best Buy parking lot around 9 a.m. and was first of about five people to receive a "pre-sale ticket," a sort of lottery invoice for consumers to lay claim to a product.
Best Buy didn't open for an hour, so Dowling waited patiently by his car with his ticket, good for one 64GB model. He was checking his smartphone, an Apple iPhone, of course.
Dowling felt comfortable that he would have no trouble picking up an iPad in town and did not preorder one for that reason. "I come here because I live in Trumbull. Why bother going to [the Apple Store] in Stamford?"
However, he said he was still surprised he didn't have to wait in a long line, not that he was complaining.
Dowling said he had been a PC user for many years because the computers he used in the industry for work were machines based on the Microsoft Windows operating system.
"I'm not an Apple fanboy, and overzealot or a Mac Nazi, but the ease of use and the simplicity of the interface are probably what drew me to [Mac computers]," Dowling said. "And then as soon as there was an Intel-based chip inside and I could run both Windows and Mac OS on one box, that's what I did for two years and I haven't looked back."
Dowling uses a MacBook for work and an iPod Touch for pleasure. Now he has an iPad with which to play. "Right now, I can't think of doing anything outside the Apple world when it comes to fixed Web, mobile Web and mobile application integration," he added.