iPad 2 sold out within an hour

By Izwan Ismail

KUALA LUMPUR - Move aside Justin Bieber, it's iPad 2's turn to turn Malaysians into frenzy mode.

Apple did it again as thousands of iPad fans thronged its stores around the Klang Valley yesterday to get their hands on the new gadget.

The launch of the 10-inch touchscreen device, which was first announced in the United States on March 2 by Apple chief executive officer Steve Jobs, was eagerly anticipated.

At Mid Valley Megamall and Sunway Pyramid, fans had gathered as early as 6am. Some hardcore ones even camped overnight at the malls.

All units were sold out within an hour after the stores opened. At the Machines outlet, an Apple premium reseller in Mid Valley Megamall, 600 units were sold while at Harvey Norman on the lower ground floor, all 50 units were snapped up.

Among the early birds was Internet marketeer Wilson Lim, 26, who booked a spot right in front of Machines on Thursday night.

Lim and a bunch of iPad fans were given permission by the mall's management to stay overnight.

"I run a blog on iPad and have been following closely news and forums on this device, in particular the actual date of the iPad 2 launch in Malaysia," he said, adding that he would use his new 32GB Wi-Fi gizmo for reading ebooks, playing games and blogging.

Swee Wai Hoow, 25, an iPhone application engineer, turned up with his three colleagues.

"We planned to go to Singapore to get the iPad 2, but since the launch in Malaysia was on the same day, we decided to stay put. The good thing is that the iPad 2 models in Malaysia are cheaper than in Singapore."

For instance, he said a 16GB Wi-Fi model cost S$668 (RM1,536) in Singapore while the same model cost RM1,499 in Malaysia. All the iPad 2 models were also cheaper by RM100 compared with the old iPad prices.

Swee said he was looking forward to utilising all the features on iPad 2.

"Apple claims that the iPad 2 graphics processor is nine times faster than the previous version, and we're hoping to use this feature to develop more advanced games.

"The dual-cameras are also useful to implement ideas on making new games and applications."

Sisters Siti Hafsah Mohd Hashim and Siti Hanizah came all the way from Sarawak to buy their iPad 2.

"We've been following online forums and Apple websites to keep tabs on iPad 2. We booked a room at the Gardens Hotel to be among the early birds," said Siti Hafsah.

The iPad 2 madness did not just hit youngsters. Senior citizens were also seen queuing up at the shops.

One of them was Marcus L.G. Teoh, 56, who said he was impressed by his friends' older iPad models.

"It looks interesting and I told myself that I am going to get an iPad 2 when it becomes available."

Teoh, who is a sales manager at a medical equipment company, said the iPad 2 would also be good for business presentations.

The launch also attracted broadband service providers like YES and Maxis to send promoters to get buyers to sign up for their packages.

There are six iPad 2 models - 16GB, 32GB, 64GB with Wi-Fi and 16GB, 32GB, 64GB with Wi-Fi and 3G telecommunication features.

They are priced at RM1,499, RM1,799, RM2,099 and RM1,899, RM2,199, RM2,499, respectively. They are available in black or white.

The new features on iPad 2 is a LED-backlight display, dual-core A5 chip, dual cameras, 10-hour battery life, Bluetooth and EDR technology.

-New Straits Times