I don’t know what Apple put in the staff coffee machine at the Apple store, but there is something in it that builds excitement for a launch.
Doing a cross for the Today Show this morning the crowd was a little down on previous launches (in my opinion), but the excitement was still there.
In the past you needed to line up outside the store to ensure you could get the Apple product first up at launch. The Apple store had the most stock of all the retailers and if you were in the queue, you waited a long time but you were rewarded with certainty of purchase.
This morning though, other stores within a 50 metre distance from the George street store were open, had plenty of stock, but were virtually empty. At the very least they had no queue to get in, and purchase was as simple as arriving at the counter and handing over your cash/card for the model you wanted.
So, even if you went to the Apple store expecting to queue, you could leave the line and buy the iPad. Telstra opened at midnight and at 7am had stock of the 4g/3g configurations, albeit for an extra $12 to the Apple store. There were few people at the store. Dick Smith, a bit further away, was open from at least 8am, as was JB Hifi, both with no queue and plenty of stock.
So why line up? We asked a couple of people and they did not know the other stores in the area had stock and by 8am the consensus was that they had waited long enough so why not wait another hour or so to go into Apple.
Others said it was the experience of going into the store. Experience of going into a store? I can confirm Apple employees were not handing out staff coffee, so there was no drink spiking going on with customers.
Apparently, the experience of ‘going into a store’ at launch is enough to make you line up for hours.
Each to their own.