Page last updated at 12:50 GMT, Saturday, 20 September 2008 13:50 UK

Apple store draws core following

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Excitement at Apple store opening

By Greg McKevitt
BBC News

Hundreds of people have queued outside the new Apple store in Belfast for its first day of trading.

The Victoria Square outlet is the US computer giant's first dedicated shop on the island of Ireland.

The first 1,000 people entering the shop ran a gauntlet of cheering and high-fiving staff who handed each of them a free t-shirt.

Doors opened to the public at 0900 BST, although some people waited outside all night to be the first customers inside.

The Victoria Square complex opened in March amid great fanfare, but it is fair to say that the Apple store launch brought an extra touch of American-style pizzazz.

Apple logo tattoo
One man has gone as far as getting a tattoo of the Apple logo
Its cult following was out in force, with many wearing Apple t-shirts.

One of the first in line was Wayne Schalk, who is such a fan of Apple products that he has the company's logo tattooed on one of his legs.

"I'm a graphic designer so to me the Apple logo is priceless - it's one of those classic recognisable designs," he said.

Some teenagers who waited from 6am said they were there for the free t-shirts, but had brought along correction fluid to write "Apple sucks" on them.

By the time of the opening several hundred people were outside, being hyped up by about 20 excited Apple employees running up and down the queue.

Most people were not there to buy anything but merely intended to check out the merchandise, and judging by the grinning faces leaving the shop, few were disappointed.


SEE ALSO
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Victoria Square 'new era for NI'
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13 Jan 05 |  Business

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