By Harry McCracken | Thursday, January 28, 2010 at 12:43 pm
Yet another iPad question: How hard will it be to buy one of these things?
When the original iPhone went on sale, there were thousands of people willing to wake up at the crack of dawn and wait in endless lines to buy one. Same thing for the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS, although in all three cases much of the madness would have been avoidable in an utterly rational world–it was possible, late in the first day of sale after the throngs had dispersed, to stroll into an Apple Store and pick up a phone with little or no wait.
With other Apple products–not to mention 99.99% of products from other tech companies–this doesn’t happen. I don’t recall it happening with iPods even when they were at the height of their popularity.
Right now, the blogosphere is awash in debate about the iPad, deeming it as everything from the next tech revolution to a big yawn. Massive lines on day one to buy the thing won’t be a definitive confirmation of the gizmo’s worth. But they will be one data point regarding the level of interest among real people. (And yes, I’m aware that it’s in Apple’s interest to whip up as much frenzy as possible for debut day–which we know will be in late March, although the company hasn’t specified the date.)