Market Overview

iPad Mini Launch Brings Small Crowd, Few iPad 4 Buyers

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) released the long-awaited iPad Mini Friday morning, but instead of inspiring a large crowd of techies to wait in line all night, the company could barely muster a crowd of 20 people.

In fact, at 6:55 a.m. EDT this morning, one Apple Store in Metro Detroit had just 13 people waiting to buy the iPad Mini and two waiting for the fourth-generation iPad.

"I just got the [iPad] 3 a couple weeks ago," said Jennifer Novak, the first person in line. "I of course said, 'They probably won't come out with anything new.' And they did, so they let me return [the iPad 3]. Since I'm going to have it for a while, I figured I might as well get in line for the 4."

Novak, who recently converted from Android to iOS, purchased the 64GB white model. She owns an iPhone 4 and does not mind that the 4G iPad is not yet available because "you can get Wi-Fi everywhere," she said.

This was the first time that Novak waited in line for an Apple product. She did not arrive at the Apple Store until 5:50 a.m. EDT but still managed to be the first customer.

Looking ahead, Novak is not sure if she will wait in line again. "I should be set for a while with the iPhone and iPad," she said.

Tyler Long, roughly the eighth person in line, is employing another strategy. His goal is to acquire every Apple product ever made from now until the end of time.

"Yeah, I have an iPad 3 already," he said. [I need] the iPad Mini because it's new."

Long said that he does not know how much more he plans to spend on Apple products this year. But he already owns an iPhone 5, the new iPod Touch, the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display and an old 15-inch MacBook Pro.

Why did he buy the iPod Touch when he already owned an iPhone 5? "Because I wanted it," he said plainly, adding that he is planning to get the fourth-generation iPad very soon.

Despite his enthusiasm, Long did not expect a larger crowd this morning. "I didn't think anybody would want [the iPad Mini] and anybody that I asked that actually had iPads and iPhones didn't want it," he said.

But Long did not know Muhammad Amin, who could not resist the lure of another iDevice. "I have every other Apple product except this one, and I am obliged by my circle of friends to have [and iPad Mini]," he said. "If they ask me how it is and I don't have one, I'll lose friends. I'm being very serious. I'm not kidding. I'm expected to have one."

Amin also said he wants a Mini because "it's tiny and I don't have it [yet]."

But while he owns most Apple products (including the iPhone 5), he will not be upgrading to the fourth-generation iPad. "I'm not gonna get the iPad 4 because I don't see much of a difference even though I'll probably get, you know, like, murdered for not getting the newest one," he joked. "But that's fine."

He previously owned an iPad 2, which he promptly sold to purchase the third-generation model.

"I thought there'd be like 7,000 people here this morning, but there's like 15," Amin added. "And it's not even raining or snowing outside, so there's no reason for them not to be here. Seriously, the iPhone 5 was crazy. I couldn't keep my seat because people were like, 'Hey, I want to get in front of you.'"

Amin may be eager to buy new Apple products, but he does not think the company needs to release anything else right now. "What they do need to do is come out with a new iPad in March like they've always had, because this one wasn't an update," he said. "Nothing changed. It's the same body style they had two years ago. It's the same exact look. That's the problem."

While most people knew which device they wanted, Mike Johnston said that he would reserve judgment until he used both devices. "I'll decide when I get in there," he said. "I'm [leaning] toward the Mini."

Johnston grabbed a card for both tablets just to be safe, but he didn't need to worry. There were stacks of units available from the Apple Store at the Somerset Collection in Troy, MI -- even more than were spotted at the launch of the iPad 3.

In addition to the iPad 4 and iPad Mini, five customers gathered in a separate line for the iPhone 5.

"We have people waiting every morning," an Apple Store employee remarked.

Follow me @LouisBedigianBZ

Posted-In: Apple iPad 3 iPad 4 iPad Mini iPhone 5News Events Tech Best of Benzinga

 

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