Many excited shoppers lined up at various Apple Store locations in Honolulu this morning to get their hands on the very first and much-hyped Apple iPads to be sold in the islands.
Apple Store locations at Ala Moana Center, Kahala Mall and Royal Hawaiian Center in Waikiki had a number of customers lining up as early as 5 a.m. in hope to be one of the very first in Hawai`i to have initial bragging rights to the new high-tech device.
Apple Store’s Ala Moana Center location by far had the most customers waiting this morning with more than 400 customers in line to purchase the product. Kahala Mall’s location had approximately 150 people in line while Royal Hawaiian Center’s location had about 50-75 customers waiting for the store’s opening.
Noted as the most popular electronics device of the year, the iPad is anticipated to revolutionize the way consumers surf the Internet, utilize online news and mobilize upon recreational media via the touch of their fingertips.
Similar to its sister product the Apple iPhone, the iPad has many of the same functions and features that have made the iPhone’s popularity skyrocket among consumers.
With no prior product reservation, Michael Choi of Kaneohe said that he hopes to get one today despite many customers going online to pre-order the product. “I came down here to Kahala Mall today to grab an iPad for myself. It’s the hottest product on the market and I have been following the news the iPad for months now.”
“It’s the IT-gadget of the year. I have not slept yet and have been at Kahala Mall since 6 a.m. waiting for the Apple Store to open,” exclaimed Katherine Paulo of Makakilo. “I reserved the iPad way in advance the day it was first available for pre-orders and I am the second person to walk out of the store with it and I am really pleased. I can’t wait to use it — especially at work for its calendar function and to take notes at meetings.”
“I must be crazy to wake up this early and stand in line for hours, but I love Apple products,” sad Brian Peters of Pearl City. “I did the same thing when I purchased an iPhone several times over in the past few years. I just have to buy one and have the first-hand bragging rights among my friends, family and co-workers.”
Some Apple users have described the iPad as an iTouch on steroids. And, its very similar in function to the iPhone as well although the device contains no phone or built-in camera. The great feature is Apple’s unique high-resolution 9.7-inch LED backlit touch screen mixed with its highly desirable graphics interface. The portability, power and touch screen features alone makes the iPad the must-have IT-gadget today. Weighing in at just 1 ¼ pounds, the iPad is much more portable than the typical laptop computer and can fit anywhere with its seek an very thin design.
With its sizeable netbook-sized screen at 9.7 inches, you can easily surf the web via wireless or 3G connections (depending on model purchased), receive and send emails, utilize specialized APPs (application programs) for the iPad as well as the iPhone, and of course, play a myriad of music as well as videos utilizing iTunes. What makes the graphics and video pop is the great resolution and bright LED backlit screen that you enjoy while using the device.
For devoted iPhone or iTouch users who only wished that their screens were just a bit bigger and better (and easier) for keyboard use, viewing text in a much larger format, seeing photos in a larger and more vibrant format, and viewing videos in a much larger viewing platform – the iPad is a dream!
What’s remarkable is the speed of doing things on the iPad as APPs ran quickly and smoothly during our test run in the Apple Store. We even played music from the iTunes library while playing a video game on the device.
Prices for the hottest gadget on the planet starts at $499 for a Wi-Fi only model with 16 Gigs of internal memory. Different configurations add hundreds of dollars to the price with the $829 iPad as the most expensive, which it includes an upgraded 64 Gigs of internal memory along with AT&T 3G enabled capabilities to surf the web no matter where you are located by areas serviced by the AT&T global network.
Some people see it as a quite costly investment to drop a minimum of $499 (plus tax and accessories) on the product but many say that it’s the beginning of the future as hand held devices take on new forms, shape and function as we move forward in the 21st Century.
Industry sources say that Netflix, the leading video rental company in the U.S. plans to provide users with the ability to rent and receive streamed movies over the web. In addition, two of the world’s leading news organizations, The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal have also unveiled their very own iPad APPs so thier tech-savvy readers can access their respective publications, browse stories and read about the daily headlines via the iPad while on the fly.
Apple reports that as many as a quarter of a million iPads have been pre-ordered online and at Apple Stores across the U.S. and some market analysts anticipate upwards of seven million pieces sold by the end of the year.
Upon purchase, the iPad will get users off to a good start as they will be able to do some of Apple’s basic functions found on the iPhone and iTouch that include web browsing via Safari, receive & send email, share and organize photos, watch videos, view maps, take notes, listen to music, play video games, access your calendar, organize your contacts, and shop the iTunes store.
What’s exciting is that there more than 1,000 APPs available for the iPad with tons more to come. Initially, you can visit Apple’s APP Store, which is part of the iTunes Store, and buy everything from games, social networking programs and productivity software to iBooks, music and movies.
What’s nice is that the iPad, like the iPhone and the iTouch. lets the user decide (and purchase ala carte) the APPs that best suit their needs for the ultimate in product personalization.
For business users, the product features built-in support for Microsoft Exchange, secure access fro corporate data, and a very powerful platform for APPs. There’s a wealth of iPhone productivity, business and reference APPs available for users to choose from.
In addition, the iPad has an iBook feature that allows customers to download bestsellers from a myriad of authors. It’s rumored to be well-received among consumers who purchase online editions of their favorite books and reading materials. Also, the iPad adds an element of color and vibrancy to bestseller stories and reference materials that the gray-scale versions of other electronic readers on the market do not offer.
For the disabled community, universal access is built into the iPad so that you can adjust screen and operations functions for ease of use and viewing, support for closed-captioned content, and a handy screen reader.
What are the various types of iPads and how do they differ in features and price?
Apple iPad Wi-Fi Only Edition
- 16 GB Wi-Fi Version $499 plus tax
- 32 GB Wi-Fi Version $599 plus tax
- 64 GB Wi-Fi Version $699 plus tax
Apple iPad Wi-Fi plus 3G Edition (requires a no-contract AT&T 3G data plan of either a 250 MB limited monthly data plan for $14.99/month or an unlimited data plan at $29.99/month)
- 16 GB Wi-Fi Version & 3G Version $629 plus tax
- 32 GB Wi-Fi Version & 3G Version $729 plus tax
- 64 GB Wi-Fi Version & 3G Version $829 plus tax
Where can you buy an iPad in Hawai`i?
It’s at your nearest Apple Store of course! There are three retail locations on the island of O`ahu at Kahala Mall, Ala Moana Center and Royal Hawaiian Center in Waikiki. You can also purchase the iPad at select Best Buy locations. It’s best to check them out online to see if they are a designated iPad store before heading down to buy one (or not).
Okay, so you’ve purchased an iPad, so what else can you buy to rack up the bill?
After you invest some hard-earned dollars into the purchase of your very own iPad, be prepared to shell out a few more (or many more) bucks for the following must-have accessories to keep up with the Jones’. Some of the top accessories include:
- iPad Keyboard Dock $69 – Adds a full-sized keyboard to your iPad for easy typing capabilities
- iPad Case $39 – This soft micro-fiber case protects your iPad from scratches and damage with reinforced panels that provide structure. It also doubles as a stand for slide shows or viewing video.
- iPad Camera Connection Kit $29 – This accessory provides you with two different ways to import videos and photos from your digital camera while using your camera’s USB cable or directly from a USB card.
- iPad Dock $29 – Easy access for charging, syncing or using an audio line-out for a premium stereo connection.
- iPad Dock Connector to VGA Adapter $29 – Easily move your photos, videos and whatever to a much bigger viewing screen using this VGA connector.
- Apple Wireless Keyboard $69 – Access the unit’s Bluetooth technology to add on this simply great wireless keyboard.
- POGO Sketch $14.95 — This little stylus enables users to take their mobile agility to the next level when using touch screen devices. It triggers the multi-touch interface on your iPad (or iPhone or iTouch) so that typing on the on-screen key pad is perfect with every stroke vs. clumsy fingers that create typos. The POGO stylus is not on the accessories wall but is available upon request by an Apple Store employee. It’s a must-have accessory and it is very inexpensive for the offering.
There’s also a mix of high-quality Apple earphones (with remote and microphone) and Apple Composite & Component AV cables available for purchase. Apple’s popular MobileMe program also keeps your iPad in sync with all of your devices and your iMac or Apple iBook.
After reading all of this, you know it’s time to head on down to the nearest Apple Store or Best Buy to partake in the April 3rd iPad frenzy and be a part of this very exciting electronics revolution – brought to you by Apple and its C.E.O. extraordinaire Steve Jobs.
For more information on up-to-date pricing, availability and technical specs for the Apple iPad, visit www.Apple.com.