Sydney shoppers

Friday, November 1, marks the first day that consumers can get their hands on Apple's iPad Air. In keeping with tradition on launch days for new iPads and iPhones, consumers lined up early to be on hand when Apple Store doors opened. Here you see the start of the line at the Apple Store in Sydney.

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Photo by: Seamus Byrne/CNET Australia / Caption by:

iPads on display

The iPad Air is Apple's fifth version of its market-defining tablet, the first of which was released more than three years ago. Has the excitement faded over time? At Apple's store in Sydney, the line -- several hundred strong -- was significantly shorter than it was for the new iPhones that arrived a few weeks ago. Apple typically puts up barriers for crowd control at that store, but not this time around.

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Photo by: Seamus Byrne/CNET Australia / Caption by:

Apple Store Sanlitun

A continent away at Apple's Sanlitun store in Beijing, all was peaceful for the arrival of the iPad Air. The new tablet is going on sale in 42 countries on day one, the most widespread launch yet for one of Apple's tablets.

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Photo by: Francis Bea/CNET / Caption by:

Preorders required

At Apple's Sanlitun store in China, a sign tells potential buyers of the iPad Air that they need to preorder online.

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Photo by: Francis Bea/CNET / Caption by:

Crowding the tables

Shoppers crowd around the tables at Apple's Sanlitun store on the arrival of the iPad Air.

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Photo by: Francis Bea/CNET / Caption by:

Getting ready

At Apple's store on the Upper West Side in New York, employees get ready ahead of the 8 a.m. opening time.

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Photo by: David Carnoy/CNET / Caption by:

Dreary weather

Dreary weather greeted expectant shoppers outside Apple's Upper West Side store.

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Photo by: David Carnoy/CNET / Caption by:

First, you wait

Another look at the encampment outside Apple's Upper West Side store on iPad Air day.

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Photo by: David Carnoy/CNET / Caption by:

On the move

Once the doors to the Upper West Side store opened, the line moved briskly.

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Photo by: David Carnoy/CNET / Caption by:

iPad Air tabletops

Across town at the Apple Store inside New York's Grand Central Terminal, early morning shoppers go hands-on with the iPad Air.

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Photo by: Erik Weigel/CNET / Caption by:

iPad Air supply

Inventory of the iPad Air at the Grand Central Terminal store seemed plentiful.

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Photo by: Erik Weigel/CNET / Caption by:

iPad in hand

At the Grand Central store, an early riser comes to grips with the iPad Air.

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Photo by: Erik Weigel/CNET / Caption by:

Apple's hometown store in Palo Alto, Calif.

The Palo Alto, Calif., Apple Store is one of the closest to Apple's headquarters in Cupertino.

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Photo by: James Martin/CNET / Caption by:

Quieting down

Despite the lines, the store quieted down shortly after sales kicked off.

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Photo by: James Martin/CNET / Caption by:

Manhandling

Shoppers toy with the new iPads on the device's first day on sale.

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Photo by: James Martin/CNET / Caption by:
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