updated 09:40 am EDT, Fri May 28, 2010
Lines continue into mid-day
Approximately 500 people are estimated to have lined up in front the flagship Regent Street Apple Store in London on Friday morning, hoping to be some of the first people in the UK to buy a retail iPad. The line is said to have originally extended from the entrance to around the corner of Hanover Street, and then down to Hanover Square. People are still reported to be in line as of early afternoon GMT, even with a number of iPads having been bought.
Figures initially drawing attention in the line included actor Stephen Fry, who was there despite already owning an imported American iPad. Aside from wanting to experience a "cultural event," Fry was also discussing FryPad, a free app digesting content from his website. More actively promoting an app was Guinness World Records, which brought along the tallest married couple. The first person to pick up an iPad at the store was 17-year-old Jake Lee from Essex, reportedly in line with friends since 12PM Thursday.
For many British the retail launch may be irrelevant, as the first online pre-orders were delivered on Thursday. Shipments may continue for the next few days, however, as thousands of people are believed to have been caught off guard by packages arriving before Apple's official release date.