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Billy (10) is first in the queue as new iPad 3 goes on sale here

SCHOOLBOY Billy Leech (10) became the proud owner of the one of the first Apple iPad 3 devices to go on sale in this country.

Billy had queued with his mother Carol from early morning outside Arnotts in Dublin's Henry Street to become one of the first customers to get their hands on the new device after travelling from their home in Edenderry, Co Offaly.

By the time the doors opened at 8am there were another 19 shoppers in the queue for the latest version of the iPad with prices running from €479 -- €799 depending on speed and memory.

The iPad 3 was released in 25 countries across Europe and New Zealand yesterday morning, just a week after its launch in the US.


Within the first four days, customers had bought three million iPads making it the most successful launch so far of this Apple range.

Arnotts reported strong sales of the new iPad with the 16GB wifi and the 64 GB 4G selling out first at prices of €479 and €799 respectively.

The store had to bring in new stocks of the 16GB wifi before the end of the day. "The new iPad is proving to be more of a success than the iPad 2. We are delighted with the sales so far and we expect more of a demand over the weekend," said Paula McCoy, home buyer for Arnotts.

The third generation iPad boasts an improved display and camera, voice dictation and 10 hours of battery life.

The launch hasn't been without controversy though. First came the complaints that the new iPad runs hotter than its predecessor, followed by recent reports of wifi-related issues.