Honolulu expecting long lines for today's iPad debut in stores
By Curtis Lum
Advertiser Staff Writer
Apple's iPad goes on sale worldwide this morning, and while there may not be the same excitement as generated when the iPhone debuted three years ago, many Hawai'i residents are expected to line up early this morning at O'ahu's Apple Stores to be the first on their block with the tablet computer.
The three local Apple Stores are bracing for long lines today when the doors open at Kahala Mall, Ala Moana Center and the Royal Hawaiian Center in Waikīkī. Representatives at each mall said no one will be allowed to camp overnight to be the first in line, but people can begin lining up at 5 a.m.
One of the early risers likely will be Ryan Ozawa, a Mililani resident who has a household of Macintosh products. He has a MacBook Pro laptop, his wife a MacBook and their daughter a Mac mini, not to mention the four iPhones in the house.
Ozawa, 35, said he knew he would purchase an iPad "as soon as it was announced."
"I am an insufferable 'early adopter.' When something new comes out, I gotta have it," said Ozawa, who works for a real estate data company.
Ozawa said he placed an order for an iPad and doesn't have to battle the crowd to pick up the computer. But he said he's looking forward to it.
"I'm going to stand in line. That's part of the social experience," he said. "There's no reason why you should stand in line. It's because we're crazy."
The iPad sells for $499 and up, and analysts say Apple could sell more than 7 million of the computer tablets globally this year. The iPad can be used to surf the Internet, read digital books, watch videos and play games.
Bigger than an iPhone, but smaller than a laptop, the iPad has a 9.7-inch screen and weighs 1 1/4 pounds.
Frankie Rojas, a Navy man who lives in Kapolei, said he's going to wait and see whether he wants to invest in an iPad.
Rojas, 25, has a MacBook Pro laptop and an iPhone.
From what he has seen on commercials, Rojas said, he likes the portability of the iPad and said it would come in handy the next time he's deployed. He said he has many friends who are eagerly awaiting the release of the iPad.
"I'm kind of waiting to see what my friends think about it, maybe play with one a little bit and then decide whether I can justify buying one," he said outside the Ala Moana Apple Store yesterday.
He acknowledged, however, that he felt the same way about the iPhone and wound up getting one a year ago.
"I was reluctant because I had a phone and I had an iPod. Then I lost my iPod and then my phone broke and instead of buying two different gadgets I just bought one," Rojas said.
Ozawa said he believes the iPad will be popular among older people who don't feel comfortable using computers.
He said his 65-year-old mother never used the computers he set her up with, but she's constantly using her iPhone.
"Now that she has an iPhone, she's reading her e-mails and she's on the Web, but it's on a tiny little screen. So she's going to love this iPad because it's basically what she does but bigger," Ozawa said.
"Where the iPad is going to have success is where nobody else has had success and that's with the grandmas and the moms of the world, people who would never in their life have a laptop. It's going to be so simple it's going to be like an appliance."