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Posted on Sat, Apr 3, 2010 : 5 p.m.

Unveiling of new iPad draws crowd to Apple store in Ann Arbor's Briarwood Mall

By John Garcia


Ypsilanti residents Brian Moon, age 13, left, and brother Steven test out the games on the new iPad on it's release day at the Apple Store in Briarwood Mall on April 3, 2010.

Angela J. Cesere |

A group of cheering Apple employees greeted a long line of customers outside Briarwood Mall's Apple store early Saturday, minutes before the doors opened, giving those waiting the first chance to purchase Apple’s new iPad.

The iPad went on sale publicly across the nation for the first time on Saturday. The new device shares many of the functions of an iPhone - it has the capability for users to download books and applications and watch movies - but also has a significantly bigger screen, at 9.7 inches wide. Many see it as bridging the gap between a smart phone and a laptop computer.

Apple's Ann Arbor store opened at 9 a.m., an hour earlier than a typical Saturday, in anticipation of a crowd filled with people like Dave Buchanan and Steve Bostedor.

Buchanan and Bostedor, who have a podcast that focuses on the iPad, waited outside of mall hours before the doors opened and even made T-shirts for the event.

“We were the first ones here at 2:30 (a.m.). We actually pre-ordered (the iPad) but
it’s just fun to hang out with these great people,” said Buchanan, who is 28 years old and works for a web and media company called Coefficient Media.

“I wanted to come out and experience the whole community thing,” said Bostedor, who is 36 and works at a company called Bozteck Software. “It’s actually better than I expected. It’s just so responsive, it’s more than worth the money.”

Apple separated the crowd into two lines, one for people who had pre-ordered and another line for those who didn't pre-order. Vik Tandon, a manager at the Apple store said, he couldn’t say how many iPads the store had.

“It will be nicer for watching movies than an iPhone and I fly a lot. It will also be good in the office to take notes, I won’t have to carry a notepad around,” said customer Kevin Ertell, 42, an executive ForeSee Results in Ann Arbor.

“My wife is thoroughly convinced they won’t have won’t have any left. She thinks I’m an idiot to come down here," Ertell added.

The hype was big enough to bring some people who didn’t even intend to purchase the iPad.

“You know what, I’m on spring break and I said let’s do this. I’ve never been to an Apple opening before,” David Michaels of Ann Arbor, who is a student at the University of Wisconsin. He showed up with a camera to take pictures and but didn't plan to purchase an iPad.

Two employees from California Pizza Kitchen gave out free food samples to those waiting in line, and Apple employees walked around the lines to let people try the iPad. The store seemed well-prepared for the event but wouldn’t comment on how many employees were working.

“We always expect crowds to appear when we release a product,” manager Dave Ginbey said.

Click below to see a slideshow of photos from the iPad release at Briarwood Mall:

John Garcia is a freelance writer for Reach the news desk at or 734-623-2530.



Mon, Apr 5, 2010 : 1:26 p.m.

"or people who just have jealousy or anger at apple for some other reason and are taking the opportunity to bash on it before even trying it out." I'm not jealous of apple. I have an ipod and it's a fantastic piece of technology. I just don't like apple's strong arm tactics of taking away choises from people, which is why I would never buy any computing gear from them.

Steve Bostedor

Mon, Apr 5, 2010 : 1:17 p.m.

I have to disagree with the negative comments on this story. It seems like it's mostly just a few people who either can't afford the iPad and are assuming that everyone else is in their same financial situation or people who just have jealousy or anger at apple for some other reason and are taking the opportunity to bash on it before even trying it out. Say what you will about apple as a company, their products are almost always innovative and of the highest quality. The iPad does have some things that need to improve but it's by far a better tablet device than anything else currently on the market.


Mon, Apr 5, 2010 : 11:43 a.m.

Price you pay for being an early adapter. Over priced, underpowered, under featured, but looks good; Typical Apple product.

Sharon T

Sun, Apr 4, 2010 : 3:02 p.m.

"iPad: iDrooled. iPaid. iCool."


Sun, Apr 4, 2010 : 9:28 a.m.

I get a laugh out of the conspicuous consumtion. How many of the buyers have a savings account with enough money to survive a financial calamity? How many people in line have maxed out credit cards? How many will finance their purchase with a credit card they will make payments on for many months? How many will be upset when Apple cuts prices by 30% after the initial sales boom? Apple is very good at creating demand for consumer products. Are we equally as good at evaluating our need?

Steve Bostedor

Sun, Apr 4, 2010 : 7:08 a.m.

This was such a fun event! One correction, though - we didn't make shirts for the event, we gave out free "iPad Show" shirts to people in the crowd. Steve Bostedor Http://

Paul M Bombach

Sun, Apr 4, 2010 : 6:22 a.m.

@Stefanie: That makes sense, no use reinventing the wheel. That also means the fix for mobile viewers is easy. If you simply include a link directly to the Flickr gallery, a user will be automatically redirected to the site that Flickr optimizes for mobile devices. This will make it viewable on iPhones, Androids, iPads, etc. This is also true for your video stories. Including a direct link to YouTube will easily make the video viewable on mobile devices.


Sun, Apr 4, 2010 : 5 a.m.

I still think the ipad is trying to solve a problem people don't have. Too big to carry around with you, to small and hard to type on to use as a primary computer. It might be nice for watching movies, but your arms sure will be tired holding 1.5lbs for 2 hours! It is a beautiful device, I just don't know if many people in this economy will be able to justify a purchase.

Anonymous Due to Bigotry

Sat, Apr 3, 2010 : 9:56 p.m.

I predict that much complaining will lead to iPad flash support before too long.

Paul M Bombach

Sat, Apr 3, 2010 : 8:05 p.m.

A story about the iPad whose picture gallery is Flash. Is there anything better than that? There are a million free Javascript photo gallery apps. Why Flash?