In the San Diego area, Saturday's launch of the iPad at the Apple Store and at a nearby Best Buy could not have been more different.
At mid-morning, the Apple Store in Carlsbad, Calif., was well-stocked with iPads and adorned by lines long enough to snake around the corner of the store into the back parking lot. And the mood was upbeat with the now-familiar applause when a customer emerged with an iPad in hand.
At a nearby Best Buy in Encinitas, Calif.--about a half-mile away--the mood was decidedly different.
With only a handful of customers waiting for the store to open at 10 a.m. PDT, a salesperson emerged just before the doors opened to say: "We have no units in stock," adding that there were a few demo units only.
He went on to explain that customers wanting to purchase an iPad would have to wait until 4 p.m., when a shipment of iPads was expected.
His prediction proved to be too pessimistic, however. Shipments actually arrived at 1 p.m., and the store quickly sold out of the 16GB iPads. As of 4 p.m., 32GB and 64GB units were still in stock, according to a salesperson.
Ditto for a Best Buy in Yorba Linda, Calif., which is southeast of Los Angeles. Like the Best Buy in Encinitas, it only had a few units in the morning but got a shipment at noon, according to a salesperson. And like the Encinitas Best Buy, the Yorba Linda store was almost sold out of the 16GB models as of 4 p.m. but still had 32GB and 64GB models.
Update at 10 p.m. PDT: Shoppers at the Carlsbad Apple Store offered several reasons for buying an iPad. One teenage boy said apps "explode" on the iPad. A woman who uses desktop computers exclusively for her business said she wanted something mobile since she didn't own a laptop. Another woman viewed the iPad as a more user-friendly, intuitive way for her mother to surf the Web. And a few people said they weren't quite sure how they would use the iPad but were intrigued by its novelty.