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Modest crowds greet iPad mini's release

Michael Homnick,Joel Mathis | Nov. 5, 2012
The iPad mini is a slimmed-down version of Apple's popular tablet, so in a way, it's fitting that Friday's release brought out smaller crowds when compared to previous Apple product roll-outs.

Still, those who showed up to get their hands on a mini were excited by how light and easy to handle the smaller iPad was. "It feels so light, I expect to use it all the time," said Richard Shih, a canny iPad mini shopper who arrived half-an-hour after the San Francisco store opened and picked up his new tablet without having to wait in line.

Igor Asner showed up an hour before the Stockton Street store opened its doors. "It's my first iPad and I'm already falling in love with it," Asner said. "I've heard mixed reviews about the screen but it looks crisp to me at reading distance."

Mike Keevers showed up at the San Francisco store just to check out the new iPads. Like many on Friday, he liked the look of the black one. "Since it's so much bigger [than the iPhone], you'd think it would have a better camera than the iPhone, though," he added.

The Wi-Fi equipped iPad mini comes in three sizes: 16GB ($329), 32GB ($429), and 64GB ($529). LTE cellular-equipped models are available for $130 more. The 7.9-inch tablet features a 1024 by 768 pixel display, a dual-core A5 processor, and a FaceTime HD front-facing camera and 5-megapixel rear camera.

Crowds may have been thinner on Friday than at past product launches, but Apple still saw brisk sales. Bloomberg reported that Apple's Fifth Avenue Store--one of its New York stores that remained open in the wake of Hurricane Sandy--sold out of minis within two hours on Friday.


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