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The iPad Mini Launch Day Unlike Any Other Apple Product Launch

The iPad Mini Launch Day Unlike Any Other Apple Product Launch

After discovering my iPad mini for the last few hours half asleep after being awake for the last 36 hours I started thinking about the day / event / launch overall.

Apple product release days are normally big events with masses of people turning up at early hours in the morning to queue to make sure they get what they want but for the iPad mini it seemed to be  a totally different story. After arriving at the iPhone 5 launch just after midnight and still being 15th in the queue we decided to head down to the Metro Centre around the same time for the iPad mini as we were unaware if they would be hundreds of people turn up because they want their hands on a totally new product or they want to make sure they have it for holidays but we also knew that Apple are not treating the iPad Mini as a flagship product and people could think that not many people will turn up and just come through out the day.

Like planned we turned up at the Metro Centre Red Mall car park around 12:20am to find the carpark locked and not one person in sight anywhere , I even got to the point were I had to check my phone to make sure I had turned up on the right date. After driving about and stocking up on coffee and food I decided to head back towards the carpark and entrance (Around 1:30am) still not one person anywhere and the car park still locked , by this time for the iPhone 5 launch there was at least 150 people queuing up and playing music and cards. So i drove and parked up in the local McDonald’s car park and sat and drained my iPhone’s battery watching BBC iPlayer just another exciting Apple product launch.

It got to 5:00am before I made myself wake up and drive back around to the car park to find it was open with an amazing queue of 2 people I could not believe it I was not expecting the numbers like the iPhone 5 launch but I was expecting a couple more than 2 and then it seemed around 2 more people joined the queue every 15 mins and by the time we were allowed in the centre itself at 6:00am there was about 12 of us of course the conversation was flowing about the delayed iTunes 11, Scott Forstall and a lot more Apple related talk and we could not forget a few small digs at Microsoft.

Once we were allowed in the centre and could see the Apple store it was quite clear that Apple either pushed the iPad mini out unprepared or they did not want it to become one of their most known products due to the lack of displays in the window and signs around the store. The Apple employees were there and enthusiastic as ever and I think woke everyone up while going round handing out the famous ordering tickets.

By 8:00am when the store opened there was around 50 people in the queue and I did not hear one person ordering an iPad 4th generation. It did appear at one point that there was more Apple staff in the store then customer. The atmosphere soon built up when the employees started their traditional pantomime performance.

It is amazing how once you have the iPad mini in your hands you forget that you have just stood outside and not slept for in most cases at least the last 5 hours , It is always good to see new people at the launch events and is good to hear them say they will be doing the same for the next Apple product.

It is not only the customers who get excited I was talking to an employee at the Apple store who was in her first week at the store and she could not believe the commitment from customers and the atmosphere in the store.

For everyone who thinks that Apple retail staff get their hands on products before and will keep one out the back for them self’s , your wrong. We were even joined by multiple Apple employees in the queue who were desperate to get their hands on the iPad mini.

Why did this feel so different ? I think for the last couple of years Apple has been known for the big numbers and big crowds so it was just a surprise to see less then a 100 people queuing up. It is also worth remembering the lines for the iPhone 4s were small but it then went on to be the biggest selling smartphone.

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