PHOTO: iPad Craze Compared to “Tickle Me Elmo” Popularity

March 18, 2012, 12:02 AM HST · Updated March 18, 12:10 AM
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MacNet store in Kahului. Photo by Wendy Osher.

By Wendy Osher

Many O’ahu retail locations reported long lines before opening on Friday, as the new Apple iPad made its debut on Friday; but just a lucky few on Maui got their hands on the opening day delivery.

The MacNet store in Kahului had yet to receive its first delivery on Friday, and had started a waiting list and pre-pay list for customers.

Store officials said they expect their first shipment to arrive on Monday or Tuesday, with an additional shipment due in a couple of weeks.

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The new iPad was being offered first via Apple retail stores, Walmart, and at ATT and Verizon Wireless–the carriers of Wi-Fi internet service for the product.

MacNet Maui, photo by Wendy Osher.

Still, there was a steady stream of customers at the Kahului MacNet store on Friday, and a heavy volume of phone-in inquiries.

One store clerk compared the craze to the rush for Tickle-me Elmo’s in the 90s and noted that the iPad accounts for 95% of the tablet market.

expects its first delivery to arrive early this week, but reported a steady stream of customers on Friday

With prices ranging from $499 to $829 at some locations, the third-generation iPad features a retina display, ultrafast 4G LTE service, and a 5 mega-pixel iSight camera with advanced optics.

Many retailers plan to drop prices for older models of the product as they initiate sales for the new counterpart.

MacNet photo by Wendy Osher.

MacNet photo by Wendy Osher.

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