Given the transportation and logistical circumstances here in NYC post-Sandy, I'm not able to be at the Fifth Avenue store for this morning's iPad mini intro. Since I can't give you first-hand reports, here's a roundup of the buying experience from those in the midst of it.
(Apple is running private shuttles for employees to make it in to work at Fifth Avenue, per BI. Two of Apple's five retail locations in Manhattan are in the powerless zone below midtown and are presumably closed; so are the independent Digital Society, Mike's Tech Shop and Tekserve stores, although Tekserve CEO Aaron Freimark emailed this morning to say that his store is open -- no power, but doing customer transactions via Square, and expecting a full shipment of new iPads and minis today.)
Bloomberg TV editor Jake Beckman sums up the NYC prioritization split quite well:
People are lined up for the iPad Mini this morning. Also lined up for gas. Oh, #NYC.- Jake Beckman (@jakebeckman) November 2, 2012
Fortune's Philip Elmer-DeWitt, a consistent presence at the Fifth Avenue store for launches, reports about 550 people in line there this morning (and several camera crews). He suspects many of this morning's shoppers are planning to contribute their purchases to the overseas gray market. Fortune also has a collection of line videos from the launches in the Far East earlier today.
CNET's Shara Tibken reports in her liveblog that sales of the iPad mini & fourth-gen iPad at Fifth Avenue have been pushed back to 10 AM from the expected 8 AM start.
TechCrunch's survey of opening day crowds indicates modest lines in most locations.
From the Pioneer Press/TwinCities.com, Julio Ojeda-Zapata posts a brief video of the modest turnout ("three dozen in line") at the massive Mall of America in Minnesota:
Not a big turnout for the iPad mini with just under three dozen in line at MOA but Apple does the usual clap 'n' greet: post.ly/9hgrT- Julio Ojeda-Zapata (@ojezap) November 2, 2012
GearLive's Andru Edwards posts his line picture from Lynwood, Wash.:
Lines in Seattle appear modest, per @oakie -- although they've tripled since this earlier tweet:
ifoAppleStore's Gary Allen is surveying the globe and notes a line in Amsterdam:
There was a waiting line at the Amsterdam (Netherlands) Apple store Friday morning for...iPad mini, iPhone 5? - flic.kr/p/dpW8GE- Gary Allen (@ifostore) November 2, 2012
And another one here in Paris, where gray market shoppers may also be among those filling the queue:
Oh, thank goodness! An Apple retail store line, for the iPad mini at the Opéra (Paris) store. - bit.ly/SvjmIl- Gary Allen (@ifostore) November 2, 2012
London's Covent Garden store, apparently, was not as well attended this morning:
The masses line up for iPad mini... Oh wait! Staff surprised as I was that no one turned up at covent garden twitter.com/mmalex/status/...- mmalex (@mmalex) November 2, 2012
FirstPost reports a modest line in Sydney, Australia earlier today. Reuters relays Gene Munster's suggestion that some mini demand may be waiting for the release of the cellular-enabled models in a few weeks. The Register reports similarly muted retail crowding in Glasgow.
MacKozer sends in a picture from Poland:
Marcel & Oliver confirm short lines -- but also short supplies -- in Germany:
@davidcaolo can confirm that here in Germany. But supplies seem really limited. After just 1 hour all white base modells where gone.- Marcel Marquis (@marcelmarquis) November 2, 2012
Robbie queued up in Cardiff for his iPad:
Chris has a short line ahead of him in Scottsdale, Ariz.:
Shawn picked up his iPad in Target with no wait at all:
Chicago's lines seem longer, per Matthew's observation:
More reports and pictures from around the globe:
If you are on the fence about heading out for an iPad mini, perhaps this bit of advice from Discover's Ed Yong will help you make up your mind:
Screw the iPad mini. I'm just going to hold my iPad slightly further away.- Ed Yong(@edyong209) November 2, 2012