Hectic scenes at Apple stores for iPad launch

The Apple queue - apparently full of middle class geeks
The Apple queue - apparently full of middle class geeks

There were crazy scenes at the Apple Store on Regent Street this morning, with hundreds of people queuing to be the first in the UK to get their hands on the new iPad.

TechRadar was on hand to chat to the girls and guys in the queue and to find out what some of the first UK iPad users were planning on doing with their shiny new computer.

On arriving at the Regent Street store at 7.30am this morning, it seems fairly quiet out the front, with around ten to twenty people queuing outside the door. It was only on rounding the corner that the size of the actual queue hit you – with hundreds of eager Apple fans jostling for position.

Apple ipad queue

Nobody knew what the stock situation was, so whispers were going around the crowd that stocks might well run out. We should know more on this later in the morning, so we will be sure to update you on the in-store stock situations across the UK as and when we get the news in from Apple.

One guy we (literally) bumped into was Apple's leading celeb fan, Stephen Fry – our colleagues over at T3 managed to grab him for a few minutes chat, so watch out for that interview over on T3.com. (Update: here it is.)

Scenes at Apple Stores elsewhere in the country were not so hectic. TechRadar's Deputy Editor Dan Grabham informed us that there were around 40 people hanging around outside the Bath store at opening time, with iPad stocks plentiful.

Apple ipad queue

At least it's not Primark

Back on Regent Street, chaos reigned. We spoke to a friendly copper who told us that the crowd was well behaved and orderly.

"It's a white, middle class crowd of computer geeks, what do you expect?" the bobby informed us. "I mean, at least it's not Primark."

Plenty of other companies took advantage of the PR opportunity, with reps on hand from The Guinness Book of World Records, showing off their new app. Food and coffee was being dished out for free by Pret and Starbucks mobile teams and a strange man called Alfie was showing off his 'Appertize' van. (We are still not sure what that does, but it certainly looked quite cool.)

Apple ipad queue

Some of the first guys in the queue had been there throughout the night. TechRadar spoke with Jules Morris, who was actually the fourth guy in the queue and had been camped out on Regent Street throughout the night.

"I've been queuing for 16 hours," Jules told us, looking tired and happy and clutching his new iPad. "I used to have an iPhone, but I had to get rid of it in order to justify buying this," he continued.

"I never used my iPhone as a phone anyway, I just used it for the web and the apps. Most of the apps I had on my iPhone, I'll now download for the iPad. I'll also get a few of the new dedicated iPad apps. I really like the Sky Sports app. And I love the Angry Birds game, so I'll get that back."

Apple ipad queue

So what else will he use this iPad for? Reading? E-books and newspaper apps?

"Nah! Not really. I love movies, so I'll mainly use it to watch movies. I've always been an Apple fan. Part of your five a day innit? You've got your BlackBerries and your Oranges and now you've got your Apples. I like my granny smiths!"

And on that (bizarre) note Jules wandered off to work. Looking dazed and slightly confused. But clearly very happy with his new toy.

Stay tuned for more pictures as quickly as we can upload them!

Update: and here's the extra pictures

Adam Hartley