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The Apple Faithful are Rewarded

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We weren't sure how the iPad launch would go down on Saturday morning—on the one hand, it's a potentially revolutionary new gadget that could change the way we interact with our computers; on the other hand, it's an iPhone on steroids. But we got up and headed down to the Third Street Promenade to see what we could see. We arrived at the corner of Wilshire and 3rd just in time to hear the roaring cheer that signaled the opening of the Apple store. And that's when we knew: This iPad thing is going to be a big deal.

We arrived at the scene to find about 200 people in two lines: One for people who had pre-ordered a device online, and one for people who apparently frown on such a practice and prefer to sit outside in chilly temperatures. (Is it ironic that people camp out overnight, like the days of pre-internet ticket sales, to buy a web-based gadget that they could easily buy, you know, online? We're not sure.) We over heard one man say that he arrived at 5:45am, but he wasn't the first in line—others in front of him claimed to have gotten there at midnight.

Apple employees lined up on both sides of the door, cheering and clapping and whooping as other employees ushered customers inside to claim their iPads, some of them high-fiving and even hugging the dedicated followers who had waited so long for this moment. Just when we expected Apple to start passing out matching robes and Kool-aid, employees wheeled out a cart loaded with bottled water to pass out down the line of customers. (Which we thought was pretty thoughtful.) One employee even brought an iPad out onto the street, tempting passers-by with its shiny goodness.

When we left around 9:30am, the line to get in the store had actually grown, despite the number of customers that had already left with iPads. When we went back to the store around 3pm, the lines outside were gone, but the store remained packed with people trying to get a peek at the gadgets, which were prominently placed at a front table. Although we couldn't push through the wall of people surrounding them to get near one. How long will this kind of hype last? Our money is on two weeks.
· The iPad is Ready to Start the Revolution [previously]