Yesterday was a long long long day for me, it all started at 6:30am when I got my very weary bones out of bed (foolishly I’d stayed up till 2:00am playing Battlefield 2), the reason for such an early start was to get myself to the Trafford Centre for the Launch of the iPad 2 in the UK.
Foolishly I thought I might actually be the first in the queue, but alas I was not,when I arrived there at 7:00am there were already about 8 people in front of me, apparently 4 of them had spent the night crashing out in there car in the Asda car park opposite the Trafford Centre.
So after getting myself comfy, buying a Starbucks I settled down for the 10hr wait until the 5:00pm launch, first couple of hours just seemed to buzz by, spent the time chatting to others in the queue beside me, there was Terry who was queuing in order to get an iPad for his son’s birthday, Andy who had just the previous day been camped out at the 3D DS launch, Nikki, who’d arrived with her husband Nigel at around 8:00am expecting to pick the iPad 2 up at 10:00am when the store opened, not realising the launch time had been put back, Nigel had meeting to attend so Nikki said she’d stay and brave the 10hr wait with us, she commented that this would be the first time she’d spent that long in the centre and not visited any of the shop’s, it was a sort of living hell for her lol, but she did it, Nigel came back about 4:00pm to rejoin her, first guy in the queue was Neil, he’d arrived about 6:30am and literally got through the doors and in the first place bang on 7:00am.
As you can see from the video, by about lunch time the queue had got upto about 120 people, this soon got a lot bigger, stretching and snaking around the centre until it had got to well over 1000 people, we first few were the lucky one’s the Apple staff came round asking us if we wanted drinks, food etc and were kind enough to bring me a Latte and a lovely piece of cake :), but then again they were shortly going to be parting me with a large amount of this months wages 🙁
Anyway at 2pm they closed the store in preparation for the launch at 5:00pm, shortly afterwards a number of Apple staff came walking along the queue asking everyone which iPad 2 they wanted and as you told them they gave you a ticket with the Model you wanted on it, it was like finding Willy Wonka’s Golden Ticket, because you knew if yo had one of these you were getting an iPad 2, I ended up with 2 tickets for 1 x White 64G WiFi 3G and 1 x Black 64G WiFi 3G and boy was I happy, it seemed to make the 7 hours I’d already been there worth it.
And then the launch began, first we could here whistling, screaming and voices whoop whooping and then the curtain dropped and the store was awash with lots of Blue t-shirted staff all waiting to get out and greet the devoted, they came running out slapping us all on the hand as they passed, they ran the length of the full queue and then back into the store, the doors closed again and the whistling whooping began once more then suddenly the count down began 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, and the doors where open again
And then we were in, grabbed by a Blue Shirted priest of Apple and taken to the back of the store to collect our well earned iPad 2’s, once I’d got them in my sweaty little hands, bought all the accessories I needed i was away home for an unboxing and and a hot bath and then sleep
So was it worth it, yes it was and you’ll see me at the iPhone 5 launch no doubt. . . . now I’m off to play with my shiey new iPad 2