| 12.9°C Dublin

Crowds buck recession as iPad hits the shelves

FROM the queues, an observer might think they were giving them away.

But as our pictures today show, even in a recessionary times, there's a market for pricey gadgets. Dozens lined up outside shops today to pay between €499 and €899 for the long-awaited iPad.

First in line outside CompuB store near Grafton Street in Dublin's City Centre was Richard Arnold (24), from Clonskeagh, who had been queuing since 4am to get the first iPad sold in Ireland.


"I was surprised to be the first in line, in England they were queuing days beforehand," Richard told the Herald.

But Richard's early morning rise was a selfless act -- he was hoping to get the iPad for his mother Catherine.

"I'm queuing for my mum, doing her a favour. My dad already has an iPad, he got it in America and he loves it. I think it's just a big iPhone really."

Richard told the Herald that he wasn't alone on Grafton Street for very long as father and son Mark (48) and David (18) McElroy joined him in the queue five minutes after he arrived.

The Ballymun pair are getting two iPads for themselves.

David told the Herald that he was treating himself today after saving all his money for the last two weeks and not going out.

"I just thought I'd spoil myself."

The pair joked that everyone in their family has some kind of Apple product, except for Mark's three-year-old granddaughter -- although she may still get one this Christmas.

The manager of CompuB, John Kelly, told the Herald how much preparation his staff had to undergo for the Irish release of the iPad.

"The store closed at seven last night to get everything ready. It usually closes at 9pm. And I got up this morning earlier than I ever have in the last five years."

Elaine Cumiskey (19) from Dublin said she was queuing up for her brother. "He said that he'll sort me if I queued. Rob is working today and I'm a student so I had the time to come over.

"I knew there would be a queue alright but I didn't expect this. My dad might get the iPad too but he wouldn't be as adamant as my brother to be one of the first to have it.

"Saying that, everyone in my family has an iPod; there's four children so that's six iPods."

Irish iPad fans have had to wait some three months to get their hands on the device.

The iPad first went on sale in the US on April 3, before being rolled out across the rest of the world.