Page last updated at 06:29 GMT, Friday, 28 May 2010 07:29 UK

iPad fans mob Apple stores for international launch

Takechiyo Yamanaka speaks to the media after buying an iPad in Tokyo on 28 May 2010.
One of the iPad's first buyers in Tokyo talks to the media

Thousands of gadget fans have mobbed shops around the world as Apple began the international launch of its iPad.

A 200m (656ft) queue formed outside Apple's flagship Sydney store in Australia, and there were similar scenes in Tokyo, Japan.

The 25cm (10in) device is also going on sale in the UK, Canada, and parts of Europe as part of a staggered global roll-out.

One million iPads were sold in 28 days after its launch in the US.

The international launch date was pushed back by a month after huge demand in the US where the product went on sale in early April.

'Worth the wait'

In Sydney, security guards were on hand to deal with the crowds of shoppers.

Rahul Koduri, who queued for more than 24 hours, became the first to buy the touch-screen computer at Apple's George Street store.

Rahul Koduri buys two iPads in Sydney, Australia on 28 May 2010
Rahul Koduri was the first to buy the devices at one Sydney store

"It's fantastic, it was so worth the wait," the 22-year-old, who bought two iPads, told the AFP news agency.

In Japan, more than 1,000 gadget enthusiasts lined up in front of Apple stores and major electrical shops in Tokyo.

Some Apple stores in the UK opened an hour earlier than usual, at 0800 BST (0700 GMT), to allow fans to get their hands on the device.

First in line outside Apple's flagship shop in Regent Street, London, was student Jake Lee, 17.

"I just came down for the atmosphere, and I don't think I could have waited. I'm a gadget lover," he told The Times newspaper.

The iPad will go on sale in Austria, Belgium, Hong Kong, Ireland, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Singapore in July.



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