iPad Launch Event: Live from Pacific Centre, Vancouver

As you all know, Apple is opening their retail stores at 8am on March 16 for the launch of the third generation iPad.

I have never been to any launch event or have ever had to wait in a line for anything. In the past, I would wait weeks, if not months, to get whatever Apple was releasing. This time, I wanted to do something different and wait in line with my fellow Mac nerds. I have never owned any of the previous iPads, although I have certainly worked with them for my daytime job. I have been waiting a while for Apple to get the technology just right so that a Retina display would be feasible on a 9.7” iPad.

I’m super excited and don’t feel like waiting weeks or months until Apple can catch up with the demand of the new iPad, thus I am staying overnight just outside the Pacific Centre, waiting for Apple to open its doors at 8am. I plan on taking lots of photos and will constantly update this post with how the line up is doing.

March 15, 11:00pm (PST): Did a patrol around Pacific Centre to see if there was anyone waiting outside. There’s no one around, so I’m walking up to Granville St. to grab a coffee and do some writing.

11:35pm: I’m already hearing there is a line forming at Pacific Centre. Seems to be on the Granville side of the building. Packing up my MacBook Pro and heading down there to investigate.

12:00am: There are about fifty people lined up. Already have some great conversations with people. I asked a few which iPad they planned on getting, and it was pretty unanimous that they were getting the 16GB black Wi-Fi model.

1:00am: The funniest thing just happened. This well dressed asian man walked up to a group of us and whipped out his Galaxy Note. He then spent more than thirty minutes trying to sell us on the Note and how awesome the stylus was. Oh, and get this, he flat out refused to call it a stylus. When challenged, he denied being on Samsung’s payroll. Who knows, maybe he’s just a huge Galaxy Note fan, but the scenario is all too familiar. Remember that ridiculous commercial Samsung made a few months back? You know the one where they make fun of people for waiting in line to buy an iPhone. I kind of feel sorry for the guy though. It took him several minutes to get the camera app to work the way he wanted when he did his little demo.

2:00am: As awesome as these people are, it’s getting really cold outside. It’s only four degrees celsius, but the wind chill is making it feel colder than it actually is. I’m heading to A&W to get something to eat and hot chocolate.

5:30am: A Starbucks just opened on Granville street, so I snuck in to grab a piping hot cup of coffee and warm up for an hour. I’m fortunate enough that it was easy to make friends with other like minds waiting for their chance to buy an iPad, so they’re saving my spot. It’s not so much the waiting that makes these kinds of events exciting and fun, it’s meeting new people who have the same interests in you–there’s a good chance they’ll be the same kind of people who can talk for hours about all kinds of nerdery. I’m going to try and warm up for an hour and then head back out there. We’re all hoping that mall security starts letting people in at around 7:30am. Anything to get out of the cold as soon as humanly possible would be fantastic.

7:00am We were told by Apple staff that coffee would be served to us, which was a nice gesture. They were hoping to start bringing people into Pacific Centre by 7:30am, so we’ll see what happens.

7:35am: Still no coffee. Everyone is really cold and a little miserable. Numerous body parts are number and they haven’t brought anyone into Pacific Centre yet.

8:05am: We all started to wonder what was going on, but we now have hot coffee and they have slowly started to bring people into the Apple store!

8:20am: Once I stepped into the Apple store, I had my 16GB black Wi-Fi model in my hands in less than five minutes. The sale process was extremely efficient and went without a hitch, so I couldn’t be happier!


It was a very unpleasant windy, cold, and soggy waiting experience to get my iPad. Although the weather was not ideal, I managed to suffer through it and make some new friends. I think I would do this again at another launch since chatting with other Mac nerds was a blast. If Apple fans were any different, I don’t think as many people would line up for these launches. The primary reason why many do this is to get a chance to talk to and meet new people. Many see waiting in line at the Apple store as an experience rather than mindlessly waiting for whatever new product Apple has put forth upon the market.