The Accidental iPad Part 1 – the iMpulse buy
The last thing on my mind was buying an iPad 2. Well, maybe not the last thing… of course I was aware that Apple’s latest iteration of their genre-defining tablet computer was scheduled to go on sale at 5pm that very day. But my aversion to queuing combined with my fear of buying anything Apple on launch day pretty much put the kibosh on any gadgeteering activities.
Instead, I focused on getting some errands out of the way. My last stop of the afternoon took me to a postal substation located inside a large franchise drugstore, one that sells computers in addition to the requisite health products. As I pried open my stuffed PO Box, a smile crept across my face as I spotted Wired Magazine issue 19.04 mixed with the junk mail and bills. I grabbed the magazine’s cello wrapper and pulled.
I’ve been an avid subscriber to Wired Magazine since its inception back in March, 1993. I was initially drawn to Wired’s combination of tech-savvy journalism and cutting edge graphic design. However, after handling several issues, the magazine’s high quality printing became one of my favourite features. Although printed on a web press for mass-market consumption, Wired was frequently adorned with spot colours and metallic inks in addition to standard CMYK. Additionally, the publishers didn’t cut corners on paper. Wired was as appealing to the touch as it was to the eye.
As I made my way down the shampoo aisle, fresh Wired magazine tucked under my arm, it occurred to me that it was nearly 5pm, the official launch time for the Apple iPad 2. News reports of long lines snaking around Apple Stores had abounded throughout the day. I’d been curious about the new iPad since the US launch a few weeks earlier. As a printer I feared the seemingly inevitable erosion of my livelihood that this new technology threatened, but as a gadget aficionado I desperately wanted one, especially after patiently waiting the full year after the iPad 1 launch.
At 4:55pm I remembered that the drugstore’s computer department was an Apple reseller. Surely they wouldn’t have the new iPad 2 available so soon, I thought. Nonetheless I found myself inexorably drawn by curiosity to the computer corner of the store. I had half-expected to find a crowd waiting, but instead found a lone computer salesman in his ill-fitting white shirt and clip-on tie stood stoically behind the counter with a little pile of numbered tickets in front of him.
“Do you have the new iPad 2 for sale at 5 o’clock,” I asked?
“We have a limited number of iPads going on sale in 5 minutes,” he replied, “would you like to take a number?”
So that’s why there wasn’t a line, I thought, they’re giving out queue numbers. I braced myself for bad news as the imminent launch was only 2 minutes away.
“Sure, I’ll take a number,” I said apprehensively. The salesman smiled and handed me a small, folded bit of paper. I opened it to reveal the number 2 and fifteen minutes later I was in my car, rushing home to unbox my shiny new iPad 2. Somehow I’d managed to get my hands on Apple’s hottest new tech gadget just minutes after launch without even having to stand in line!
So, now I’ve been an iPad 2 user for just over a month and I have to admit, my computing habits have been altered by this little glass and metal slate… and in some surprising ways. Stay tuned, more to come…