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iPad 2's Japan, India release draws big crowds

Apple's iPad 2 made its official debut in Japan on Thursday along the white iPhone 4. The second generation tablet debuted for 44,800 yen (US$500) and was available from Apple Stores and the wireless carrier Softbank Mobile.

Apple has a good week in the Asian-Pacific region. The iPhone 4 flew off the shelves in China and customers in Japan lined up in droves for the iPad 2. Early adopters in Japan began to line up as early as 9 pm the night before the launch and, sometimes, had to endure heavy rain while they waited. The rain was not a deterrent as the flagship Ginza Apple store in Tokyo; it had a line over three blocks long when the store opened at 9 am.

While customers in Japan were greeted with long lines for the iPad 2, folks at the Andheri Imagine Store in Mumbai, India were greeted with a bouquet of flowers. The retailer went above and beyond to make sure its customer's line-waiting and buying experience were delightful and not drudgery. It likely worked -- who can't help but smile when they are handed a colorful, aromatic bunch of flowers?

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