iPaddies rush to get hands on Apple gadget
THEY queued for hours for their coveted new toy.
Dozens of technology enthusiasts waited from as early as 4am outside electronics stores in the hope of securing the first of the latest Apple gadets on sale here.
Despite the recession, it appears that there is still a market for pricey gadgets -- iPads cost from just under €500 to almost €800.
While retailers were keeping sales figures close to their chest, it is understood Irish stores received around 3,000 iPads in total.
Sales were brisk across the country with small queues forming outside shops in Dublin, Limerick, Cork and Wexford, and some retailers predicted they would be sold out by the end of business today.
It is not known when the next consignment from Apple will arrive.
Declan Ronayne, managing director of Currys and PC World in Ireland, said: "People will need to be out and about reasonably early in the morning, and that's not sales hype."
The group has 28 stores around the country, however only seven received consignments of the iPad -- most of them in Dublin and Galway.
"We have no indication when most of our stores will get the product because worldwide demand is so high," he added.
Murt Joyce, manager of Joyce's Expert Electrical in Clonard, Co Wexford, said he was the only iPad stockist between Dublin and Cork and had therefore seen a flood of customers.
"We had queues this morning and sold them to people from Carlow, Wicklow, Cork, Waterford -- even as far away as Holland.
"Apple are very strict on how they control it so numbers are very limited.
"We received about 600 units in total," he added.
It was the first day they were sold here even though they have been available in the US for more than four months.
A number of electronics stores opened their doors at 8am to deal with the anticipated demand.
First in the queue of 40 people outside the Compu B store at the end of Dublin's Grafton street was Richard Arnold (24), from Clonskeagh, Dublin.
His mother said she decided to buy one after using the one that her husband bought in the US.
"I wanted the 3G one because you can use it anywhere -- you can use it in your car. I will use it mainly for the emails. They are great, they are so fast," Catherine said.
"I am not very techie at all and that is why it is so easy to use for an eejit like me."
John Kelly, who works in the store, said there had been a large number of queries in the run-up to the launch.
Writer Michael Nugent -- who penned the play 'I, Keano' amongst other works -- said his new iPad will be the latest Apple product he has bought since he started using the machines in the 1980s.
Anna Walsh from Glenageary was one of those who travelled -- unsuccessfully, as it turned out -- to Belfast to try to buy one of the iPads in advance of yesterday's launch here.
However, she managed to secure one for her husband Mark Pettitt yesterday as a late birthday present.