With today the first day the long-awaited iPad mini goes on sale, there are scattered reports that Apple Stores and other resellers are not attracting the same kind of long lines that new iDevices in the past have, such as last month’s iPhone 5.
But Fortune’s Philip Elmer-Dewitt says he estimates a headcount of 550 waiting in line before 8 a.m. for the opening of Apple’s flagship store on Fifth Avenue.
“According to the records Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster has been keeping since 2008 that's more customers than turned out for the iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4S,” says Elmer-Dewitt.
“And by 9:56 a.m. — four minutes before the doors finally opened — I counted 801 men, women and children. Only the iPhone 4 (1,300) and iPad 2 (1,190) drew bigger crowds.”
Another story posted at the Nasdaq site says crowds were much smaller , though the lengthy article headlined: “iPad Mini Launch Brings Small Crowd, Few iPad 4 Buyers” only covered one specific store in Detroit.
"In fact, at 6:55 a.m. EDT this morning, one Apple Store in Metro Detroit had just 13 people waiting to buy the iPad Mini and two waiting for the fourth-generation iPad," the article said.
CNet reports the New York store sold out of both iPad mini models in about two hours.