Eager users crowd Apple stores for new iPad

Apple's new iPad draws lines (see video below)

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In London, the new iPad's higher-resolution screen was the big draw.

"It is my first iPad, so I am kind of looking forward to all of it. But the display was enough to convince me to buy one," said Mike Lee, who had decided to get the 64GB Wi-Fi version after hearing that applications would be bigger because of the increased resolution.

But the improved camera and the faster processor also made the new iPad worth buying, said Amir Saeed, who had turned up at the Apple's store on Regent Street in London. Saeed didn't mind the weight increase, saying that it would help users notice that they actually had it with them.

The new iPad weighs 1.46 pounds (662 grams), a little heavier than the iPad 2, which weighed in at 1.35 pounds.

Users in the U.K. won't be able to take advantage of the iPad's LTE connection, because there aren't any commercial 4G networks in the country and when they are eventually launched, the spectrum bands used will be different from the ones Apple currently supports.

Hundreds lined up in Tokyo outside Apple's store in the upscale Ginza shopping district. Some waited for a day and a half to buy the iPad.

Ryo Watanabe, a 19-year-old university student, lined up 36 hours prior to the device going on sale so he could be the first to buy the new iPad. He cradled his new 16GB Wi-Fi model, still in the box, as he talked to reporters.

"It's not that I like Apple itself so much, it's just that Apple makes good products, so I choose them," he said.

There are some features missing in the iPad though. Buyers wanted Apple to include USB ports and the Siri voice interface, which is available on the iPhone 4S.

The new iPad also went on sale in Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Germany, Switzerland and Canada. It will be available in 25 more countries next week.

The iPad starts at $499 for the 16GB model and $699 for the 64GB version. With 4G connectivity, the price will be $629 for the 16GB model and $829 for 64GB.

The new tablet's 4G LTE capabilities overshadow the 3G connectivity on previous iPads. The tablet will also work on HSPA, HSPA+, HSDPA and EV-DO networks. Based on carrier support, the device can also be a personal hotspot and share a high-speed network connection with up to five devices. Other features include a 5-megapixel camera and voice dictation features.

Apple's new iPad features a Retina display, LTE connectivity, and more -- but is it advanced enough to stay ahead of rivals?

(IDG News Service staffers Nick Barber in Boston, Peter Sayer in Paris, Mikael Ricknas in London, Jay Alabaster in Tokyo and Joab Jackson in New York contributed to this story.)

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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