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Head of the iPad 2 line

Jewels Lewis sits at his spot at the front of the London Apple store line to buy an iPad 2 on the day the tablet went on sale in England. Lewis waited in line from 7:30 a.m. March 24 to 5 p.m. March 25, but that's a lot shorter than the 3 to 4 weeks Apple estimates it'll take to receive an iPad 2 through an online order right now.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Stephen Shankland/CNET
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Early arrivers, early adopters

Ben Paton, left, and Craig Fox arrived more than 24 hours in advance to buy iPad 2s in London.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Stephen Shankland/CNET
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Apple reseller

Catherine Cheng, at front, planned to buy a pair of iPad 2s then sell them to friends. They'd been in line since 7:30 a.m., and nine hours later, the sun was setting.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Stephen Shankland/CNET
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Jewels Lewis' golden tickets

Jewels Lewis was first to receive Apple tickets used to help smooth the iPad 2 purchasing process. He likened them to Willy Wonka's golden tickets.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Stephen Shankland/CNET
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New iPad 2 owners

Some of the first people to get an iPad 2, brandishing their commercial conquests above their heads, emerged from the Apple store to cheering crowds snapping photos of the celebrities of the moment.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Stephen Shankland/CNET
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Sorry, come back later

This man (left) wanted a repair for his laptop on the wrong day. He was turned away because the Apple store was closed until the 5 p.m. iPad 2 launch.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Stephen Shankland/CNET
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End of the line

St. George Street, a block and a half away from the Apple store entrance, accommodated a few hundred people at the end of a line that doubled back on itself.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Stephen Shankland/CNET
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Double-decker bus by the Apple store

A double-decker London bus pushed gently through crowds in front of the store. Police tried constantly to clear the sidewalk, or as they say in England, the pavement.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Stephen Shankland/CNET
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Hanover Street overflow

The first overflow section of the iPad 2 purchase line trailed down Hanover Street. Apple set up barricades with trash bags attached, handed out water to those in line, and hired security guards to keep an eye out overnight.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Stephen Shankland/CNET
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iPad 2 line

Apple's crowd controllers gradually moved people in batches from one segment of the line to another. Here's a curved section at the intersection of Hanover and St. George streets.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Stephen Shankland/CNET
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Photo op

As many gawkers as buyers showed up to see the iPad 2 launch event. Many took photos.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Stephen Shankland/CNET
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Apple storefront

The iPad 2 launch drew a throng much larger than just the buyers.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Stephen Shankland/CNET
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