Hoping to get you hands on a new iPad, but didn’t get your preorder in on time? Not to worry! Apple retail launches can be fun and exciting events, and standing in line may be the only way for you to get your hands on a new iPad in the near future.
While AT&T, Sprint and Verizon stores (and other retailers: Best Buy, Target, Walmart, Radio Shack, and Sam’s Club) will be offering the new iPad mini and 4th-gen iPad on launch day, their stock will be very limited. Your best chance (and the most fun way) to get the new iPad tomorrow is to go to an Apple Retail Store and wait out the long lines. Here are a few pointers for surviving launch day.
This is the most important factor. When I attended my first Apple launch, I didn’t know what to expect, and showed up at the Apple Store at 7 AM in the morning. Big mistake. By the time I arrived, the line had reached a truly hideous length. I waited in line for just over 7 hours before finally getting my iPhone, and was fortunate enough to purchase one the very last models that the store had in stock.
Arrive early. The earlier the better. Many people are already beginning to line up, and those are the ones who are most likely to get an iPad tomorrow.
Bring a friend
If you can convince one of your friends to stand in line with you, do it. Bringing an extra person will ensure you don’t lose your spot if you need to go to the bathroom or decide to visit Starbucks for a cappuccino.
Be prepared for the weather
Whether the forecast predicts rain or shine, be prepared. You could be standing in line for several hours. Consider bringing an umbrella with you to be prepared for either outcome, as it can either shade you or protect you from rain.
Wear good shoes
Can’t stress this enough. You may be standing in line for a very long time, and if you aren’t wearing comfortable shoes, you’re in for a world of hurt. If you love not having blisters, wear the most comfortable pair of shoes you own to the launch.
Only bring what you need to keep yourself entertained and protected from the elements. You’ll hanging around for a while, so bringing along something to do may be helpful. Don’t worry about bringing snacks or water – Apple Store employees do a great job of handing out drinks and snacks to those waiting in line. Last year Apple provided donuts, Starbucks coffee and bottled water to everyone in line at my local Apple Store.
Be social & make friends
Making friends with people in line can make the launch experience more enjoyable. Forming an alliance with others in line can help you keep your spot in line if you need to take a bathroom break, and could provide for some very interesting take-home experiences. One of the people I made friends with at last year’s launch has become a permanent friend that I still keep in contact with even today.
You may already have your heart set on a certain color or model, but don’t be too picky. Apple has a limited number of iPads to sell, and if they’re out of the color or size you set your hopes on, having a backup option, or a backup for your backup option could make the difference between getting a handset and simply wasting hours in line for nothing. Be willing to compromise.
Don’t linger in the Apple Store
Everyone else has been waiting a long time in line, and asking a ton of questions to the Apple Store employees will only make someone else have to wait longer. Be courteous – buy your iPad and leave the store. You can always come back later or call Apple with any questions you stil have.
Didn’t get one? Try somewhere else.
If you don’t get an iPad at the Apple Store (they do occasionally run out), try other stores. Perhaps Apple Stores in smaller areas will have more stock. AT&T stores (and likely other venues such as Best Buy, and Radio Shack) are also selling the new iPad. Just because you didn’t get one at the Apple Store doesn’t necessarily mean you’re out of luck.
Above all else, try to relax and enjoy yourself. Apple launches can be really fun and exciting events. Apple employees often walk around showing people the new device before they buy it and giving customers high fives. There’s an incredible amount of excitement in that line you’re standing in. You may as well be a part of it.
Good luck! I hope you’re able to buy the iPad that you want, and don’t have to stand in line too long! Let me know if you have any interesting experiences by sending me an e-mail using the contact information underneath this post!
Be sure to check out our other iPad-related coverage as well!
- Ten essential apps for your new iPad
- How to set up your new iPhone, iPad or iPod touch
- How to migrate from your current iPad to a new device
- Seven things to do with your old iPad
- Which new iPad should you get?