Steve Wozniak First in Line as iPad Arrives

Hundreds gather at Apple stores worldwide

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 16, 2012 7:43 AM CDT

(Newser) – The new iPad is here, and once again, Steve Wozniak is first in line for the latest Apple gadget. Sure, the Apple co-founder could get his hands on one without waiting in line, notes Mashable, but "it's become a ritual," he says in Los Angeles. "I wanna be one of the real people, who line up and wait all night. ... Apple’s just that important to us." The company's stores are opening at 8am across 10 countries today; for some stores, that's much earlier than usual.

Some 200 people were in line in Sydney; a Tokyo Apple store drew 450; several hundred waited for the device in London. Dozens gathered days ago in Hong Kong, prompting a special reservation system, the Wall Street Journal reports. Who knows "what compels people to stand in line for hours for a product they don't need that they can buy in seconds online," wonders Henry Blodget at Business Insider. "Fanaticism? Desire to follow the herd? Adrenalin? Whatever it is, it's powerful. And infectious."

Hundreds of people line up in front of a shopping mall in Oberhausen, western Germany, to buy the new iPad at the Apple store, Friday, March 16, 2012.   (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
Apple employees welcome hundreds of customers in front of the Apple store at a shopping mall in Oberhausen, western Germany, as the new iPad goes on sale, Friday, March 16, 2012.   (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
People try out the Apple iPad on the first day the latest iPad goes on sale, in Paris Friday, March 16, 2012.   (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon)
People gather outside an Apple retail store on Fifth Avenue in the Manhattan borough of New York, Friday, March 16, 2012, as they wait for the 8 a.m. local time release of the new iPad tablet.   (AP Photo/Jeffrey Furticella)
Ryota Musha, 41, right, and Hisanori Kogure, 31, show off new iPad tablet computers they purchased, in Tokyo Friday, March 16, 2012.   (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)
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Woz in line.   (YouTube)

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