iPads snapped up on 1st day
• Photo gallery: Got iPad?
By Michael Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer
The White family of Sydney, Australia, didn't expect to start their Hawai'i vacation standing in line at a computer store, but when they realized that the Apple Store just down the street from their hotel was unveiling the much-anticipated iPad yesterday, adjusting the daily itinerary was a no-brainer.
Hundreds of Mac-happy shoppers lined up outside of O'ahu's three Apple Stores, some as early as 5 a.m., for a chance to buy their own iPad. Hundreds of others had placed advance orders and were able to stroll in at their convenience.
The computer, which offers many of the same features of an iPod Touch in a tablet-like body with a 9.7-inch screen, retails at $499 for the most basic model. Industry analysts predict that Apple could sell as many as 7 million iPads this year.
Paul Hochberg, president of Hawaii Direct Trading, was first in the reserved line at the Ala Moana Center Apple Store.
Hochberg's company airs infomercials in Asia. He said his new iPad, with its relatively large flat screen, will allow him to make video presentations virtually anywhere. He said the computer's long battery life — up to 10 hours — is also a plus.
Hochberg is no stranger to Macs. He has an Apple PowerBook G4, four MacIntosh computers and an iPhone.
Hochberg also picked up an iPad for friend Dave Erdman, president and chief executive officer of PacRim Marketing Group and PR Tech.
Erdman, 54, of Kāhala, said he, too, looks forward to using his iPad to make presentations to his many clients in Japan, China and Korea.
He said the computer will also make it easy to read newspapers online while on long flights — "especially in coach."
Erdman said he wanted to make sure he got his iPad before he heads to Asia on Wednesday to meet with clients.
"I wanted to be the first in Asia to show a presentation on the iPad," he said.
Not so fast.
"I'm going on Tuesday," said Hochberg, laughing.
While some computer shoppers are wary of buying first-generation technology, Erdman said he had no hesitation.
"I don't care," he said. "I'll buy the first one now, and when the next one comes out, I'll get that one, too," he said. "Then this one goes to my daughter."
Zachary and Denise Rogers of Waipahu each reserved iPads at the Apple Store at Ala Moana Center two weeks ago.
Zachary Rogers said he couldn't wait to get his hands on the iPad — literally.
"I'd hoped that Apple would have a touch screen," he said. "I bought an iPhone and after a few weeks I was touching the screen (of my laptop) the same way."
Denise Rogers said she'll use the iPad to download and read books.
The Whites arrived in Hawai'i yesterday morning and were taking their first drive around Waikīkī when they spotted the store on Kalākaua Avenue.
"We had to stop," said Richard White, 60, a self-professed gadget geek. "I like all of the applications. It's like an iPhone on steroids."
Suzie White, a woman of modest computer needs, said she'll probably just use the iPad to just check her Hotmail account. However, she said she thinks the new purchase will help sons Chay, 12, and Rhys, 9, with their school work.
Meanwhile, Chay said he plans to use the device to play video games. He hopes to get one for just himself soon.
"It's like a laptop," he said. "But cool."