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iPad launch: the view from Southern Arizona

Here in Arizona one thing you see is a lot of trucks in the Apple Store parking areas. A few gun racks too. Not really the ambiance of Silicon Valley or Chicago or New York.

There was a lot of enthusiasm about the iPad, especially at our one local Apple Store at the La Encantada Mall. My first stop was at the Best Buy in Oro Valley. I drove by just before 8 A.M. and 7 people were outside. They explained to me that the Best Buy had 15 to sell, and the manager would be out with claim checks. Hmmm. Only 7 people. I wasn't planning on getting an iPad just yet. No camera, no printing. What the hell. It was easy to raise my hand. They gave my my claim check, and said they would call later today when UPS arrives with the iPads.

Then it was off to the Apple Store. It's the only one in Tucson. As I expected, things were hopping about 30 minutes before the doors opened. The lines were longer than the 3GS iPhone rollout and that should be encouraging for Apple. Like everywhere else there were 2 lines. One for pre-orders, the others for the hopeful hoping to bag an iPad today. The Apple Store manager told me they had a lot in stock, but didn't think the stash would hold out for everyone who wanted one. I expect that's right, as the purchase line was growing visibly longer in just the few minutes I was there.

There was a big round of applause when an iPad showed up in the store window. My informal survey of line denizens indicated the 32GB version would be the top seller. It will be interesting if that holds up around the country.

All in all, a good iPad day. 63 degrees, sunny, and 20% humidity. Certainly those good looking iPad screens won't be fogging up. Were you at any of the Tucson Best Buys or Apple Store? What was your experience?

Photos below:

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