Friday's a big day for tech fans everywhere, with the new iPad going on sale.
Eager to be the first to get their hands on it, a number of hardcore fans have been camping overnight at the Apple Store on Briargate. The scene is similar at Apple stores across the country. The launch of the latest iPad has become second only to the iPhone as the biggest "gadget event" of the year.
"I sold my other iPad a week ago," Wafa Glaus told 11 News. "I'm an iPad addict, and I've been stressful since then."
For some customers, standing in line will offer the only chance to get a new iPad on Friday. Apple quickly ran out of supplies it set aside for advance orders. The company was telling customers Thursday to expect a two- to three-week wait for orders placed through its online stores.
Despite competition from cheaper tablet computers such as Amazon.com Inc.'s Kindle Fire, the iPad remains the most popular tablet computer. Apple has sold more than 55 million iPads since its debut in 2010, including some 40 million last year. Researchers estimate that the iPad has more than 60 percent of the market for tablets.
The iPad's accomplishments have contributed to the company's success on Wall Street. Apple's stock touched $600 briefly for the first time on Thursday. Apple is the world's most valuable company, with a market capitalization of nearly $555 billion. It topped $500 billion for the first time in late February, a market value peak where few companies have ventured.
Apple's retail stores are likely to draw the biggest crowds because they usually have the largest launch-day supplies, but the tablet will also be sold at Best Buy, Radio Shack, Sam's Club, Target and Walmart.
The new tablet starts at $499, though the priciest versions--complete with cellular access and four times the storage space--will cost as much as $829. The new model comes with a faster processor and a much sharper screen. It's also supposed to have an improved camera like the one on the latest iPhone.
The older, iPad 2 is still available, at $100 less than the latest model.
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