updated 09:45 am EDT, Fri May 6, 2011
Tablet also making first appearance in Thailand
Friday's Chinese launch of the iPad 2 was greeted with long lineups, reports say. AppleInsider remarks that at the Beijing Apple Store, people began lining up at 5PM on Thursday; sales began at 8AM Friday, but by 10AM hundreds of people were still waiting in line. The queue is said to have been more carefully managed than the one for the first iPad, though, with numbered wristbands which allowed people to hold their place in line so long as they came back in less than an hour.
Crowds are said to have been larger than those last year, though that may be attributable to the weather being sunny instead of raining. An informal survey suggests that white iPads may be more popular than black ones, which could be backed up by more black models seen sitting behind the Beijing sales counter than white ones.
"Dozens" of scalpers were reportedly swarming outside the store, having snapped up early units to sell to people at a 200 yuan ($30) markup. Because Chinese sales are starting much earlier than the country is used to, though, the amount of gray-market exporters appearing at US Apple Stores could shrink. Apple has usually debuted products in China several months after their introduction in the US, but with the iPad 2 the gap is less than two months.
The tablet has also newly launched in Thailand. Photos show dozens of people in line at one reseller. Unlike in China, Thai buyers have the option of 3G models as well as regular Wi-Fi variants.
[Thailand (via @aunonline)]