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I'm first in the U.K. to buy new iPad, at bleakest launch ever

Armed with rations to survive a long iPad launch line, CNET UK's Andrew Hoyle found the unexpected when he arrived at the store.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET UK

The queue to buy Apple's new iPad may have started at the Apple Store days ago, but the PC World store on London's Tottenham Court Road had its own launch as the clock ticked over to 16 March, beating Apple's own event by eight hours. Unexpectedly, this meant I was the first person in the U.K. to buy the new tablet. Sorry Zohaib!

PC Worlds nationwide will have received stock of Apple's new slate over the past couple of days, ready to put into the hands of the excited masses when it officially launches to the public today. Normally though, the official 'opening ceremony' is done by Apple itself, usually at its flagship Regent Street store.

The fact that PC World beat Apple to the punch is somewhat surprising, but not quite as startling as the distinct lack of people queueing at the shop. The queue had only begun to stretch out properly from around 11 p.m.--just an hour before the doors opened. By contrast, eager Apple fans had begun to queue outside the Apple Store days ago.

Read more "I'm first in the U.K. to buy new iPad, at bleakest launch ever" at Crave UK.