Whenever a new Apple product is released, the crowds are normally huge with hundreds of people trying to pickup the latest device from the world’s largest consumer electronics company. Well, things were different this time around, as Apple launched its new iPad Air to lackluster crowds.
Only a month ago, the iPhone 5S and 5C were launched resulting in some versions of the devices being sold out within minutes. The situation could not have been more different for the iPad Air which seemed to attract very little attention from customers. Whether or not sales were as unimpressive online has yet to be seen, but the minimal crowds at retail stores were not a good sign.
Apple loyalists still lined up at stores around the world in order to get the device before anyone else but the average consumer seemed to skip over the iPad Air all together or at least ordered it online rather than having to go to a retail location.
Even after a few hours of selling the new iPads, most stores seemed to have them in stock for people stopping by later in the day. There were some exceptions to this as one analyst stated that stores in New York City and Hong Kong did run out of all available iPad Air units.
In locations where Apple fans were more abundant, the lines were still significantly less impressive than the ones seen in September for the iPhone.
The iPad Air is the fifth generation of Apple’s tablet and is touted as not only being extremely light but may also be a lot faster than previous versions. According to one set of benchmarks, the iPad Air is 80% faster than the iPad 4, a notable performance increase for such a thin and light device.
Just as Apple decided to sell the iPhone 5S in China on launch day for the first time, the iPad Air was also available in Chinese stores. As a result of the addition of Chinese sales to the first day totals, many analysts have stayed away from putting out sales predictions.
Online pre-orders appeared to be the most popular way to get an iPad Air on launch day, with the LA Times reporting that more than 200 pre-ordered units were stacked up at one California Apple store.
The iPad Air may receive a sales boost simply due to the release of iOS 7 which for many users, runs far too slow on older iPads, making the otherwise optional upgrade necessary.