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Old Mar 12, 2012, 11:35 AM   #1
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Houston Retail Store Grand Opening Hints at 8:00 AM iPad Launch on Friday




Earlier this month, we noted that Apple's forthcoming Highland Village retail store in Houston had seen its grand opening date moved up by a day in recent weeks, with Apple opting to open the store on Friday, March 16 rather than holding a traditional Saturday grand opening store. The change led to speculation that the new iPad might be launching on the new date, and Apple did indeed announce last week that the device will be available beginning on March 16.




Apple has yet to announce, however, what time it will begin in-store sales of the new iPad on Friday. The company has sometimes launched major new products first thing in the morning, with stores generally opening early for the events, but as in the case of the iPad 2 last year, the company has also occasionally launched products in late afternoon time slots.




But as noted by the Houston Chronicle, (via @tech513), Apple has now publicly announced that the new Highland Village store will be opening at 8:00 AM on Friday. Like the Friday date, an early grand opening is unusual for Apple's new retail stores, as they generally have their grand opening events at normal opening times, which in the case of the Highland Village store will be 10:00 AM. Consequently, it seems that the early opening may be tied to a launch of the new iPad, in which case Apple may be planning the debut for 8:00 AM local time at its other stores in launch countries.
Quote:
The store's doors will open at 8 a.m. Friday, the same day that Apple's third-generation iPad will go on sale. An Apple spokeswoman would not say whether all its stores will open at that time on Friday, but an early opening is typical when the company starts selling a new iPad or iPhone model.
As noted by Slash Gear over the weekend, the first lines for the new iPad have already begun to form, with a pair of customers staking out their spots outside the Regent Street store in London.

Apple has said that demand for the new iPad is "off the charts", with the company's online stores in all launch countries now quoting shipping estimates of 2-3 weeks for new orders.

Article Link: Houston Retail Store Grand Opening Hints at 8:00 AM iPad Launch on Friday
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 11:36 AM   #2
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Very interesting. Did any stores open last year during the launch?

Devil's Advocate: They could allow access to the store at 8am but still wait to sell iPads until 5pm. Who knows? They're known for handling lines at Apple stores very well and doing a generally good job of organized chaos.

I imagine it could go much like the mid-day goes when they do morning launches. The line continues to queue outside the store and gets trickled in, in groups, but customers seeking other usage of the store are allowed in at will.

As an early morning line-squatter, I'd welcome the morning launch, but either way I'm thoroughly excited for Friday.
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Last edited by soco; Mar 12, 2012 at 11:43 AM.
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 11:42 AM   #3
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If this is indeed true i will who up around 4-5 and wait in line with the rest of 5 people until around 8 when its out the door and around the corner. Last year showed up at 3 pm and was 80th in line, so lets see how this goes.
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 11:45 AM   #4
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Holy SH&T are you kidding me?! An 8am launch!? OMG this is HUGE!!!!!!!






Who cares.
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 11:49 AM   #5
ayala421
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All you people waiting in line prepare to get "samsunged" by some random asian guy!
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 11:51 AM   #6
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I predict Samsung will be shooting some footage for it's next Galaxy Tab commercial.
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 11:52 AM   #7
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I just want a t-shirt. I have never owned an iPad and never will, unless free in a contest or something.
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 11:55 AM   #8
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line

I got in line at 3pm-ish for the last launch and was far down the line. The UTC Store in San Diego did such a poor job of handling the line that there were alot of upset people that were turned away, including myself. I wasnt P?o'd at not getting one, just of the way they handled it in comparison to another store in San Diego. (Fashion Valley) the next saturday I went to the Fashion Valley store saw a smallish line so waited a bit, the employees came out with the little cards pre-filled out with the inventory on hand and went down the line. easy, efficient, simple. Seems UTC didnt attend that meeting. just saying...
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 11:58 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by toddybody View Post
Holy SH&T are you kidding me?! An 8am launch!? OMG this is HUGE!!!!!!!

Who cares.
Impressive sarcasm. Who was it that pressured you onto the Crap on People's Interests bandwagon?
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 12:14 PM   #10
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take the day off?

I'm jealous of anyone who could wait in line all day, not sure that's how I'd spend it though. Thank goodness for the preorder option - looking forward to Friday!
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 12:18 PM   #11
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Just noticed 2-3 weeks for preorders, those lines are going to be miles long!
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 01:01 PM   #12
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I purchased both iPad 3G models the first day, and both were sold late in the afternoon, not upon opening. 6 o'clock, actually. I hope 8 am isn't correct.
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 01:20 PM   #13
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Hmmm... a store full of 'new hires' dealing with a first day iPad mob.
Doesn't sound like fun. Maybe they should open Thursday to let them get their feet under them?

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Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post
I predict Samsung will be shooting some footage for it's next Galaxy Tab commercial.
Accompanied by a sound track of cricket chirping from their own product releases.
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 01:37 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by GQB View Post
Hmmm... a store full of 'new hires' dealing with a first day iPad mob.
Doesn't sound like fun. Maybe they should open Thursday to let them get their feet under them?

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Accompanied by a sound track of cricket chirping from their own product releases.
Most of the employees are transfers from the Apple stores in The Galleria and Memorial City Mall (maybe The Woodlands Mall too).
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 01:40 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by soco View Post
Very interesting. Did any stores open last year during the launch?

Devil's Advocate: They could allow access to the store at 8am but still wait to sell iPads until 5pm.
Unlikely since that would mean shutting he store to put out the demos etc. so why put out old ones for the opening to change them six hours later
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 02:23 PM   #16
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Unlikely since that would mean shutting he store to put out the demos etc. so why put out old ones for the opening to change them six hours later
Why can't they have the new iPad out for demo? It's their product and their store; No rules being broken. It's still not for sale until 5pm. (Under the hypothetical.)
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 03:22 PM   #17
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What time would that be in the UK?
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 03:40 PM   #18
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Anyone could have easily got one for Friday delivery by pre-ordering within 24 hours of the event, Apple didn't adjust delivery times until the next day, they obviously had plenty of stock ready to go.

Makes no sense to line up, just poor planners.
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 04:44 PM   #19
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Anyone could have easily got one for Friday delivery by pre-ordering within 24 hours of the event, Apple didn't adjust delivery times until the next day, they obviously had plenty of stock ready to go.

Makes no sense to line up, just poor planners.
Or people who enjoy the experience? I've lined up for every iPhone since the 3G (original didn't come to Canada) and the original iPad. Sure I could have pre-ordered the new iPad, but I for one happen to enjoy the experience of waiting in line with hundreds of other rabid Apple fanatics. I'll be grabbing both my Apple TV and my iPad that day, and who knows maybe the Apple staff will talk me into another Mac of some sort too, my 24 inch iMac is aging....
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 06:36 PM   #20
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I sure wouldn't want to be trying to get an iPad from that store this Friday! All brand new employees + hundreds of customers all trying to buy iPads at one time = INSANITY!
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 06:39 PM   #21
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Fantastic find! - It's starting to annoy me a little now..
9:00am launch like usual? 5:00pm like last year? Or a new 8:00am?

Luckily, I've got the day off work.. But I need to plan my day!
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 06:57 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post
I just want a t-shirt. I have never owned an iPad and never will, unless free in a contest or something.
I'm planning buying my first one in the next ten years. I'm just expecting it to be useful or funny enough...

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I sure wouldn't want to be trying to get an iPad from that store this Friday! All brand new employees + hundreds of customers all trying to buy iPads at one time = INSANITY!
All of this to be the first ones in their communities to exhibit a brand new toy. "I have one, you don't... lalalalalala".
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 07:01 PM   #23
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Apple has said that demand for the new iPad is "off the charts".

That's so Tim Cook.

Obviously Apple needs to buy bigger charts.
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 09:35 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Steelers7510 View Post
I sure wouldn't want to be trying to get an iPad from that store this Friday! All brand new employees + hundreds of customers all trying to buy iPads at one time = INSANITY!
well said. its gonna be a nightmare.
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Old Mar 12, 2012, 09:52 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by soco View Post
Why can't they have the new iPad out for demo? It's their product and their store; No rules being broken. It's still not for sale until 5pm. (Under the hypothetical.)
It's not Apple's style to put out demos that you can't buy because of the artificial block of an on sale time.

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What time would that be in the UK?
It wil be the same time locally. So if it is 8am in the US it will be 8am local time everywhere else
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