Getting an iPad the Apple way

A lot of people were wondering why I looked like someone had seriously annoyed me on the photo I tweeted from the Apple Store.

Well, firstly I rarely tend to smile in photos — if I do, I feel I look like an Estate Agent. Second, I was mildly irritated.

I didn’t bother with the queue. I walked straight into the Apple Store via the main entrance to have a look around.

Then I asked a chap where I bought one. He explained that I needed to join the queue, gesturing to the side entrance of the Regent Street Store. There were a few security folk in high-vis vests standing about, along with some Apple Store folk. Metal barriers were in place.

But there was no queue.

“You need to queue up and get a ticket, sir,” the chap explained.

“There isn’t a queue?” I said.

(There was a small one inside the store but not outside)

We both turned to stare at the queue-less door.
The chap continued:

“Er yes but there’s a process and some people have queued up.”

“Can’t I just walk over there and get a ticket from that guy standing at the side entrance?” I asked. ”

“No, you need to go outside then come in that door,” the chap replied, indicating with his palm.

I thought I’d get some clarity.

“So you want me to go OUTSIDE to come in again?”

“Yes sir.”

And that’s what I did.

This is how it goes with Apple isn’t it. You’re either IN or you’re out. There’s no half measures.

So I walked out, around two security barriers and immediately back in again.

An beaming Apple lady began to ask me what model I wanted. I cut in half way with the spec.
“Oh, you’re organised!” she said, passing me to another guy who gave me a ticket for the 32GB “4G” version.

(Laughable isn’t it, buying a 4G iPad in the UK)

And so I queued for about 10 minutes and then got the iPad and walked out.

I should probably have just ordered online. A lot of folk were getting a ton of value out of the experience, interacting excitedly with the cheery Apple staff.

I can’t fault the experience. It’s Apple and beyond the door/queue thing, it was perfect 😉


  • Idtheophilus

    Hi Ewan – so now you went and purchased a new iPad, what happened to pushing for a lease deal such as the O2 iPhone Lease scheme? Were you able to leverage a lease deal from any of the Telco Providers?

  • Nope. Not at all, sadly. O2 — who lease the iPhone — said they have no plans to lease iPads unfortunately. Quite an arse, frankly. And the telcos? Unless you do a 24 month contract the iPad is THE SAME PRICE as buying at the Apple Store!

  • Wow, so many hoops…merely to be granted the privilege of paying hundreds of quid.

    For a ‘4G’ device.

    Just one question: If Apple staffers explained that ‘New iPad’ buyers are required to roll over and beg before queueing, would you have done so immediately or thought about it for a moment, before complying in full? 😉

  • I think I’d have drawn the line at that… !

  • I bought mine quite easily, with less faff. There’s always a queue at apple stores, delivery means waiting in for me… so I went on the pc world website when I got to work, reserved the version I wanted, nipped to the store to pick it up at lunch. In and out in 2mins max, no queueing…. did this with the iPad 1 too. Currys and argos also do similar… none are as “shiny” as an apple store, but I love the speed and ease of reserve & collect systems.

  • Good thinking!

  • Had John Lewis deliver mine to the local Waitrose. Popped in to pick it up with some nice cheese and wine too.

  • Good thinking!

  •  Good news, that. 🙂

  • I did have to think for a second though 😉

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