MADISON, Wis. – Apple’s latest iPad drew the customary lines of die-hard fans looking to be first and entrepreneurs looking to make a quick profit.
Many buyers lined up for hours, and in some cases overnight, as the tablet computer went on sale in the U.S. and nine other countries. They did so even though Apple started accepting online orders a week ago.
The new model comes with a faster processor, a much sharper screen and an improved camera, though the changes aren’t as big as the upgrade from the original model to the iPad 2.
As with the previous models, prices start at $499 in the United States.
Dan Krolikowski, 34, was first in line at a Madison, Wis., mall. He arrived 14 hours before the store’s opening and was buying an extra one to sell on the gray market.
Last year I sold one on eBay and made over $500 in profit, Krolikowski said, leaning back in a reclining lawn chair he brought. Those who ordered iPads online started getting them delivered Friday. However, Apple now says there’s a two- to three-week shipping delay for online orders.
In Hong Kong, a steady stream of buyers picked up their new devices at preset times at the city’s sole Apple store after entering an online lottery.
The system, which required buyers to have local ID cards, helped thwart visitors from mainland China, Apple’s fastest growing market. A release date in China has not been announced.
Apple will begin selling the iPad in 25 additional countries next Friday, mostly in Europe.