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HolidayBuyer's Guide

Sydney shoppers

iPads on display

Apple Store Sanlitun

Preorders required

Crowding the tables

Getting ready

Dreary weather

First, you wait

On the move

iPad Air tabletops

iPad Air supply

iPad in hand

Apple's hometown store in Palo Alto, Calif.

Quieting down

Manhandling

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.

Caption by / Photo by Seamus Byrne/CNET Australia
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.

Caption by / Photo by Seamus Byrne/CNET Australia
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.

Caption by / Photo by Francis Bea/CNET
At Apple's Sanlitun store in China, a sign tells potential buyers of the iPad Air that they need to preorder online.

Caption by / Photo by Francis Bea/CNET
Shoppers crowd around the tables at Apple's Sanlitun store on the arrival of the iPad Air.

Caption by / Photo by Francis Bea/CNET
At Apple's store on the Upper West Side in New York, employees get ready ahead of the 8 a.m. opening time.

Caption by / Photo by David Carnoy/CNET
Dreary weather greeted expectant shoppers outside Apple's Upper West Side store.

Caption by / Photo by David Carnoy/CNET
Another look at the encampment outside Apple's Upper West Side store on iPad Air day.

Caption by / Photo by David Carnoy/CNET
Once the doors to the Upper West Side store opened, the line moved briskly.

Caption by / Photo by David Carnoy/CNET
Across town at the Apple Store inside New York's Grand Central Terminal, early morning shoppers go hands-on with the iPad Air.

Caption by / Photo by Erik Weigel/CNET
Inventory of the iPad Air at the Grand Central Terminal store seemed plentiful.

Caption by / Photo by Erik Weigel/CNET
At the Grand Central store, an early riser comes to grips with the iPad Air.

Caption by / Photo by Erik Weigel/CNET

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

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

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

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET

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

Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET
Updated:
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