Some play truant - to buy an iPad

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Playing truant, taking time off from work - all just for an iPad

iPadSINGAPORE - Playing truant and taking time off from work was how far some went to get their hands on the iPad when it was launched in Singapore on Friday.

Singapore is one of nine countries that released the iPad on Friday, and hundreds of fans braved the queues at 30 Apple resellers, with some coming from overseas to buy the tablet computer.
First in line at the Apple reseller at 313@Somerset was retail executive Roy Tan, 29.

He joined the queue at 6am and had taken half a day off from work to make sure he was among the first few to own the device.

Another fan, 38-year-old administrator Suzie Sam, was given time off from work to join the queue.

"My boss gave me half a day off so I could buy one for him, one for my friend and myself," she said.

Some of those in the queues did not want to talk to MediaCorp, as they had played truant from work to queue up for the iPad.

The iPad is available in three models - 16GB, 32GB and 64GB - in either the Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi + 3G version.

The 3G version is the most popular because it allows users to surf the Internet anywhere, and some shops say they have run out of stock.

Prices range from $728 for a Wi-Fi 16GB iPad to $1,228 for a 3G 64GB model.

The coveted iPad was also launched in several Asia-Pacific countries on Friday, but Apple fans in New Zealand were left guessing where to queue up.

Apple officials in New Zealand did not announce in advance where the tablet computer would be sold, leaving even the most of fanatical of buyers frustrated.

Only about 25 people waited outside the popular Dick Smith store in downtown Wellington, where customer Michael Tull complained about the "level of arrogance" surrounding the launch.

"Apple produces good products but one wonders if they need to contrive quite so much hype," he said.

In Hong Kong's busy Causeway Bay shopping district, a line of more than 100 eager shoppers trailed from a ninth floor Apple store down a humid stairwell.

They waited at least an hour to buy the device.

Friday's wave of releases was the third phase in Apple's global launch and included Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Luxembourg, Mexico and the Netherlands.

by Evelyn Choo


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