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Apple's much-anticipated iPad goes on sale

 An Apple employee shows an iPad to a person at the Apple store on Fifth Ave. in New York, Saturday, April 3, 2010. Eager customers have been lining u...
 Simona Marrocco, left, and Antonio Vallese, of Rome, Italy, check out their new iPads inside the Apple store on Fifth Avenue in New York, Saturday, A...
 People wait in line to purchase the iPad outside the Apple store on Fifth Avenue in New York, Saturday, April 3, 2010. Eager customers have been lini...
 Luis Silva, from the Brooklyn borough of New York, holds up his new iPad outside the Apple store on Fifth Avenue in New York, Saturday, April 3, 2010...
 Charles Wolf, left, from the Manhattan borough of New York, tries out the iPad at the Apple Store on Fifth Ave. in New York, Saturday, April 3, 2010....
 Carlos Herrera, of Barcelona, Spain, sends text messages on his iPhone while waiting in line to purchase the iPad outside the Apple store on Fifth Av...
 Customers purchase the iPad at the Apple store on Fifth Ave. in New York, Saturday, April 3, 2010. Eager customers have been lining up outside Apple ...
 A person uses an iPad at the Apple Store on Fifth Avenue in New York, Saturday, April 3, 2010.  Eager customers have been lining up outside Apple Sto...
 People purchase the iPad at the Apple store on Fifth Ave. in New York, Saturday, April 3, 2010. Eager customers have been lining up outside Apple Sto...
 An Apple Stores employee arranges iPads at the Apple store on Fifth Ave. in New York, Saturday, April 3, 2010. Eager customers have been lining up ou...
 Shoppers experience the new iPad at the Apple Store on Fifth Ave. in New York, Saturday, April 3, 2010.  Eager customers have been lining up outside ...
 Rafael Jose, center, of San Francisco, and his father-in-law Ronald Waggoner, of Austin, Texas, look at the iPad at the Apple Store on Fifth Ave. in ...
 Mike Heinsius, of Rotterdam, Netherlands, holds up his new iPad outside the Apple Store on Fifth Ave. in New York, Saturday, April 3, 2010.   (AP Pho...
 Angelo, right, and Marianne Tortola, of Boston, Mass., look at an iPad at the Apple store on Fifth Ave. in New York, Saturday, April 3, 2010. Eager c...
 iPads are sold at the Apple store on Fifth Ave. in New York, Saturday, April 3, 2010. Eager customers have been lining up outside Apple Stores and so...
 Micah Clemens, 27, of Washington, left, and Scott Ferriss, 24, explore their new iPads after purchasing them at the Apple Store in the Fashion Centre...

Apple iPad

An Apple employee shows an iPad to a person at the Apple store on Fifth Ave. in New York, Saturday, April 3, 2010. Eager customers have been lining u...

Apple iPad

Simona Marrocco, left, and Antonio Vallese, of Rome, Italy, check out their new iPads inside the Apple store on Fifth Avenue in New York, Saturday, A...

Apple iPad

People wait in line to purchase the iPad outside the Apple store on Fifth Avenue in New York, Saturday, April 3, 2010. Eager customers have been lini...

APTOPIX Apple iPad

Luis Silva, from the Brooklyn borough of New York, holds up his new iPad outside the Apple store on Fifth Avenue in New York, Saturday, April 3, 2010...

Apple iPad

Charles Wolf, left, from the Manhattan borough of New York, tries out the iPad at the Apple Store on Fifth Ave. in New York, Saturday, April 3, 2010....

Apple iPad

Carlos Herrera, of Barcelona, Spain, sends text messages on his iPhone while waiting in line to purchase the iPad outside the Apple store on Fifth Av...

Apple iPad

Customers purchase the iPad at the Apple store on Fifth Ave. in New York, Saturday, April 3, 2010. Eager customers have been lining up outside Apple ...

Apple iPad

A person uses an iPad at the Apple Store on Fifth Avenue in New York, Saturday, April 3, 2010. Eager customers have been lining up outside Apple Sto...

Apple iPad

People purchase the iPad at the Apple store on Fifth Ave. in New York, Saturday, April 3, 2010. Eager customers have been lining up outside Apple Sto...

Apple iPad

An Apple Stores employee arranges iPads at the Apple store on Fifth Ave. in New York, Saturday, April 3, 2010. Eager customers have been lining up ou...

Apple iPad

Shoppers experience the new iPad at the Apple Store on Fifth Ave. in New York, Saturday, April 3, 2010. Eager customers have been lining up outside ...

Apple iPad

Rafael Jose, center, of San Francisco, and his father-in-law Ronald Waggoner, of Austin, Texas, look at the iPad at the Apple Store on Fifth Ave. in ...

APTOPIX Apple iPad

Mike Heinsius, of Rotterdam, Netherlands, holds up his new iPad outside the Apple Store on Fifth Ave. in New York, Saturday, April 3, 2010. (AP Pho...

Apple iPad

Angelo, right, and Marianne Tortola, of Boston, Mass., look at an iPad at the Apple store on Fifth Ave. in New York, Saturday, April 3, 2010. Eager c...

Apple iPad

iPads are sold at the Apple store on Fifth Ave. in New York, Saturday, April 3, 2010. Eager customers have been lining up outside Apple Stores and so...

Apple iPad

Micah Clemens, 27, of Washington, left, and Scott Ferriss, 24, explore their new iPads after purchasing them at the Apple Store in the Fashion Centre...

Apple Inc. began selling its much-anticipated iPad on Saturday, drawing eager customers from as far away as Europe intent on being among the first owners of a new class of tablet-style computers.
Apple must convince people who already have smart phones, laptops, e-book readers, set-top boxes and home broadband connections that they need another device that serves many of the same purposes. But the scores of people who waited in long lines across the U.S. Saturday seemed willing to buy first and discover all its uses later.
Beth Goza has had iPhones and other smart phones, along with a MacBook Air laptop, yet she believes the iPad has a place in her digital lineup. She likened it to a professional tennis player owning different sneakers for grass, clay and concrete courts
"At the end of the day, you can get by with one or the other," she said outside an Apple store in Seattle's University Village mall. But she's already dreaming up specific uses for her iPad, such as knitting applications to help her keep track of her place in a complicated pattern.
Granted, Goza is a self-described nerd _ she says she was the first person in Seattle to get the also-hyped Segway personal transporter _ but not everyone who braved the blustery early morning was a typical early adopter.
Danita Shneidman, a woman in her 60s, said she isn't particularly tech-savvy, yet she already knows what she's going to use the iPad for first: looking at photos and videos of her first grandchild, born this week in Boston.
And then there's Ray Majewski, who went to an Apple store in Freehold, New Jersey, with his 10-year-old daughter, Julia. The iPad is partly as a reward for her high grades in school, and partly a present for himself.
"I like the electronic books, and my daughter is really getting into them as well," Majewski said. "I was thinking of getting a Kindle (e-book reader) but then said to myself, 'Why not get an iPad because I can get so much more from that than just reading books?'"
The iPad is essentially a much larger version of Apple's popular iPhone, without the calling capabilities. The new device is a half-inch (1.25 centimeters) thick, weighs 1.5 pounds (680 grams) and has a touch screen that measures 9.7 inches (24.6 centimeters) on the diagonal _ nearly three times the iPhone's. Also like the iPhone, it has no physical keyboard.
For now, Apple is selling versions of the iPad that can only connect to the Internet using Wi-Fi. Those models start at $499. Versions that also have a cellular data connection will be available by the end of the month. They will cost $130 more, with the most expensive at $829.
In Apple stores in Seattle and on New York's Fifth Avenue, the atmosphere was festive, with employees cheering and clapping as customers entered and left.
Once the initial iPad excitement settles, though, Apple may have to work harder to persuade a broader swath of people to buy one. Many companies have tried to sell tablet computers before, but none has caught on with mainstream consumers. And while early adopters who pre-ordered an iPad in recent weeks have gushed about all the ways they hope to use it, skeptics point to all the ways the iPad comes up short.
They argue the on-screen keyboard is hard to use and complain that it lacks a camera and ports for media storage cards and USB devices such as printers. They also bemoan the fact that the iPad can't play Flash video, which means many Web sites with embedded video clips will look broken to Web surfers using Apple's Safari browser. And the iPad can't run more than one program at a time, which even fans hope will change one day soon.
College student Brett Meulmester stood in line at an Apple store in Arlington, Virginia, to try one out without buying one yet.
"The cost is kind of prohibitive at this point," he said.
For others, cost was clearly not an issue _ nor convenience, it seemed. Siggi Manz, a software developer who lives near Frankfurt, Germany, was spending just 20 hours in New York to snag one. Manz, who already carries Apple's MacBook Pro and iPhone, said the iPad would be ideal for note-taking.
"Opening a laptop is sometimes impersonal because the monitor is between us, and the iPhone is too little to really honestly type," Manz said.
Carlos Herrera, a school teacher from Barcelona, Spain, said he wants to show his colleagues how the device can be used in classrooms. He has turned his iPad trip into a weeklong vacation.
James Stuart trekked to Seattle from Canada, where the iPad won't be on sale for another month _ too long, in his mind.
"It's like a gorgeous woman _ you just want to touch it," he said.
In San Francisco, tattoo artist Max Ackermann is convinced the iPad will "define a giant change in how we perceive computers in general."
Yet Ackermann admits he has no clue exactly how, saying, "It's definitely in its baby years."
___
Associated Press Writer Bruce Shipkowski in Freehold, New Jersey, AP Business Writer Marcy Gordon in Arlington, Virginia, and photographers Diane Bondareff in New York and Paul Sakuma in San Francisco contributed to this story.


Updated : 2021-01-17 12:13 GMT+08:00