Despite getting less than 5 hours of sleep each night these past six months, I managed to make it to the Grove in LA this morning to witness the momentous release of the iPad at the largest (?) Apple Store in Los Angeles County.
I've never missed covering an Apple product release (ok, maybe the software releases...) and I wasn't going to miss this one.
Called the store last night and was able to tweet: Line @ Grove LA for iPad will start at 4 am. Store will open doors to those who pre-ordered at 9 am, the non-reserve at 10 am.
I arrived after 7 am when there were two separate lines a few hundred yards from the actual store (video). It was so cold, and I was very sleepy!!! At 8, the Apple employees escorted the reserve line to the Apple store (video).
Didn't independently verify it, but there seemed to be many more Apple employees present and they seemed better trained at rousing the customers. The lines were shorter than for the iPhone (they say that may have something to do with same-day delivery of the iPad to homes), but the enthusiasm was as great.
There was coffee from The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, pastries, and bottled water handed out by the blue-shirted employees. Lots of media started arriving at 8:30, including a USA Today camera team. (I was like, isn't that a print newspaper??? Turns out the footage is for their website.) Japanese and Spanish press there too.
Lots more stories and observations and names to mention! Later!!! But I've started posting a few photos on Flickr. Will write more once all the pics and videos are up. And I wrote down notes!