Steve Wozniak greets fans waiting for iPad

April 2, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak greeted some die-hard fans Friday night in San Jose. There were lines of people waiting eagerly for Saturday's launch of the iPad outside a few Bay Area Apple stores Friday night.

In San Jose, there were only 16 people camping outside of an Apple store willing to camp out to get an iPad.

There's really no reason to be in line, except to claim some sort of badge of honor.

"I want to be the first one to be able to say that I have an iPad," said Palo Alto resident Lexi Maisnikov.

She got to the Palo Alto store at 11 a.m. so she could earn that title on Saturday, but she doesn't need to wait in line for the actual iPad. She pre-ordered one.

"I'm just really excited to get one of these things," said Maisnikov.

Still, the excitement doesn't appear to be at the same level it was for previous Apple products. Friday night's line didn't really compare to the line that gathered three years ago for the iPhone.

"The iPhone, first generation, the line was probably 200 deep at this point. By the time the morning came it was about 1,000, so this doesn't compare yet. I mean we'll see what happens when midnight comes," said Palo Alto resident Yo Slivkoff.

The senior associate editor Joe Brown at Wired Magazine said camping out at Apple stores may be a thing of the past.

"I do think the novelty of getting in line for a gadget is kind of wearing off. Especially considering that Apple has started letting people pre-order," said Brown.

There was a bigger crowd at San Jose's Valley Fair Mall Friday night, but most of the people weren't trying to get an iPad, they wanted to talk to Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak -- who grabbed a spot in line himself.

"I don't have to, but I like to do things the way that normal people do them," said Wozniak.

He swears he'll stay here all night for an iPad, even though he also pre-ordered one.

"I did pre-order and one is being delivered at my home [Saturday]. It needs a signature and there's no one at the house, and I put a note on the door, so I hope they'll leave it," said Wozniak.

More people may have showed up overnight of course, but as of midnight on Friday, it looks like the hype isn't measuring up to past launches. Regardless, industry observers aren't worried about Apple.

"Apple's really good. Steve Jobs is a marketing guy. That's his background. Apple has really good at creating serious amounts of buzz in all the right ways. They did a good enough job with this already, they don't need lines," said Brown.

Apple blacked out the windows of their store so it would add to the secrecy. The iPad is basically the iTouch, just with a smaller screen. Overall, most say it is just a lot of fun to be there at the store at the time of the release.


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