Disney-style snake lines greeted employees at Apple Stores around the country on Saturday morning, when the WiFi version of the eagerly awaited iPad tablet computer went on sale.
Best Buy is also offering the touchscreen device, which is slated to be available in a dual WiFi/3GS model later this month.
Business remained brisk throughout the day at Dallas-area retail locations like the Apple Store in The Shops at Willow Bend in Plano, where the wait time in the purchasing line had shrunk to a half-hour by early afternoon.
Prospective customers also flocked to the sleek wooden tables where numerous iPads were on display, to experience the touchscreen tablet for themselves.
“It’s really cool,” said Shannon Clark of Plano, an Apple aficionado who already owns a Mac and an iPhone. “It’s really easy to use, and it has great video quality.”
Indeed, movie-viewing may be the killer app for the new device, which offers a Netflix app for downloading movies. While the initial version of the iPad has been dinged by some critics for its inability to multi-task, its large screen and excellent picture quality are turning out to be major selling points.
“This is going to be great for watching movies on a plane during long-haul flights,” said Craig Clark of Plano, who accompanied daughters Shannon and Audrey to the Apple Store.
“And with WiFi available on more and more planes these days, I should be able to trade stocks on eTrade and even make a phone call on a plane using Skype.”