Sunday March 13, 2011 10:10 pm
iPad 2 is the star gadget of SXSW
SXSW 2011 brings 20,000 early adopters to downtown Austin, Texas every year, but this year the Apple iPad 2 was going on sale at the exact same time. What is a gadget-loving, Web professional to do? Apple made things a little easy by opening a temporary "pop-up" store just a few blocks from the convention center. On Friday, the lines were around the block. Today, it is just another busy, Apple retail store.
Sales at the pop-up store were brisk despite the fact there are two other Apple stores in Austin, which do about $30 million in combined annual business. The demand for the iPad 2 is driven partly by the fact that Apple didn't accept pre-orders on the device, forcing would-be early adopters to brave the lines at retail stores.
Austin local John Muehlbauer was the first to line up for the new device, getting in to the store around 6:30am, on Friday—a full 10.5 hours before the doors would open.
To build the store, Apple remodeled a 5,000 square foot space above a Gold's Gym on Congress Avenue in downtown Austin. Although the lease is just for two weeks, the setup is pretty polished, complete with retail kiosks, uniformed sales reps, even wall decorations and window displays.
The iPad 2 has proved popular outside of Austin as well. Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster counted at least 1,190 people in line outside of Apple's flagship store in New York City when the device went on sale at 5pm.
This article, written by Dan Costa, originally appeared on PCMag.com and is republished on Gear Live with the permission of Ziff Davis, Inc.