There's usually plenty of excitement and atmosphere at Apple's big London stores on iPhone and iPad launch days. Not for the new iPad, though. We headed down to the Regent Street store to see the first fans emerge with their new iPad this morning, but there was much less of a buzz.
The store's staff were doing their best to create one, but the early opening and chilly weather certainly put a dampener on events. Not much more than 30 minutes after the store opened its doors to let the hard-core queuers in, the pavement was empty.
In total, less than 400 people waited outside the store, almost 250 less than for last year's iPad 2 launch. Timing is likely to have been a factor, since the store opened at 5pm last March, and the queue built up over the whole day.
At the firm's Covent Garden store queues were longer, but some savvy buyers had already bought their new iPad from PC World on Tottenham Court Road. PC World opened at 12.01am giving 600 people a chance to own the new tablet before anyone else.
Dynamo PR surveyed the queue at Regent St and found that a surprising 45 per cent of people were buying their first tablet. Thirty one per cent in the queue were planning to buy the top model (64GB Wi-Fi and 4G). Almost two-thirds of the queuers solely use Windows, and just one-third owned Macs.
Here's a selection of photos from the queue.
The queue around the corner from Regent St
Zohaib Ali at the front of the Regent St. queue
Apple staff try to whip up the crowd
Craig Fox bought his iPad from PC World just after midnight
By 8.40am, the queue had disappeared completely
In Hannover Street around the corner, workers sweep up