Launch day is beginning to wind down around the world. Everyone is at home setting up new devices. Which, brings up the question—how did it go for Apple? Some reports are smaller than normal crowds. Other reports are iPad minis have sold out in other places with New York City having record crowds. What gives?
I think we’re not going to have a simple answer to the question. I think pre-orders have a lot to do with people not coming to stores, weather could be a factor, also people might just be taking more of a wait and see approach to the iPad mini. Now that the iPad mini is getting into the hands of more “regular” people and beyond the select group of media who received them during the launch event, we are going to get a better range of opinions.
What’s the scoop? We have a mix of selling’s out:
- iPad Mini Sells Out in Two Hours at Apple’s Flagship Fifth Avenue Retail Store – Mac Rumors
- Initial iPad mini stock selling out at various Apple Stores around the world | 9to5Mac
- Near record turnout for iPad mini in the Big Apple – Apple 2.0 – Fortune Tech
And low turn out:
- Apple’s iPad Mini Launch Draws Smaller Crowds Than Previous Product Debuts | TechCrunch
- Apple iPad mini draws New Yorkers; crowds thin elsewhere | Reuters
Here was my experience. I arrived at the Apple Store in the Pacific Centre about 9ish. You can see from the picture that the store wasn’t crowded at all. I told the first employee I got to that I wanted a mini and 4th generation iPad and I was passed to another employee who gave me a chit for the devices I wanted (there looked like a lot of chits in his little box). The chits were handed to a third employee who went and got the iPads for me. Don’t get me wrong, this wasn’t a laborious processes, clearly Apple planned ahead how to handle the crowds, and it looked like a good system.
Chatting with other folks I learned that there was a line when they opened at 8 AM, but it only took about 20 minutes to clear it. While I was in the store I heard that some minis (the white ones) had just sold out (so this is about 9:15 AM).
I will say that before I hit the Apple Store, I swung by a retailer who was open and went and a..sked about iPad minis and 4th generations. Very interestingly they only had the 4th generation models and no minis. I don’t think this would be typical of other retailers.
What’s the story? I think Apple is really just getting an early jump on the holiday season. Get iPad minis out, around, and available so when people are making their wish lists, an iPad mini is at the top of the list.
Apple wasn’t, I’d bet, planning on this being a huge blow out weekend. Oh, I’m sure they’ll sell millions of iPad minis this weekend, probably fewer iPad 4th generations, since it’s an upgrade and not a whole new device, but it’s the holiday season is when they are going to kill it.
Today and this weekend are only parts of the overture, the opening act is yet to come.