Apple’s new iPad has gone on sale in the UK with some customers queuing for up to five days as they slept on the street to get their hands on the tablet computer.
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The iPad 3, which has a higher resolution screen than previous models and a five megapixel camera with auto focus and auto exposure, ranges in price from £399 to £659.
Despite competition from cheaper rivals, the iPad remains the most popular tablet computer.
Apple has sold more than 55 million of the gadget’s launch in 2010, including 40 million last year.
The new device, which was unveiled earlier this month, is widely expected to sell out, but technology site Wired.co.uk’s editor Nate Lanxon said some savvy shoppers would not spend their money yet.
He said: “On day one there is less reason to invest in one than three or four months down the line, when the developers have got to grips with it and you can see what apps they have built for it.”
Zohaib Ali, 21, from Uxbridge, northwest London, was first in line outside the flagship Apple store on London’s Regent Street after queuing for five days.
“The iPad is the best product of the year and there won’t be any more until 2013 so I am happy to queue. I love Apple products,” he said.
Mr Ali has autism and his mother Rahat Ali believes Apple products have helped him overcome his disability.
She said: “Apple products are very good for autism. They are very easy to use and he is relaxed when he is using them. Usually he doesn’t want to go out in a crowd but he is very happy queuing here.”
Mr Ali’s friend, Ali Tarighi, 18, from Acton, west London, has been queuing with him since Saturday morning. He said of the new iPad: “I wanted to be one of the first to get my hands on it really.”
He added: “It can be hard at times, especially at nights. It gets really cold but it’s going to feel great when I hold the iPad up in triumph.”
Those waiting were handed free food and drink by companies they had contacted through Twitter.
The iPad is also going on sale in nine other countries, including the United States, Japan and Australia.
The tablet has “voice dictation” which allows people to dictate straight to their computer rather than type.
Apple said the “retina display” which uses 3.1 million pixels on the 9.7in display screen, would have “the highest resolution display ever on a mobile device”.
Another feature is a high-speed 4G wireless network which will allow users to download pictures and films quicker than before, but which is not available in the UK yet.