The buzz around Apple appears to be waning with only a smattering of people, most of them Asian bothering to turn up at their store last night in Sydney for the launch of the new iPad. Across the road Telstra put on a midnight gig in an effort to drum up interest but even that was not like days of old.
One thing that is creating a buzz is the value of Apple stock which yesterday rose 3.4% to a record $589.58 with some analysts claiming it could climb a further 19 percent to $700 in the near future. The shares have gained 46 percent this year, giving investors a 555 percent return in the past five years.
In an effort to drum up a bit of passion for the new iPad which has no 4G despite Apple packaging saying it has Telstra last night opened their George St, Sydney, and Bourke St, Melbourne, stores one minute after the midnight witching hour.
In Sydney Apple’s Sydney store was lit up and manned, but not due to open to would-be buyers until 8am.
The Apple Store had 35 souls, nearly all of Asian appearance and mostly dozing, camped outside its doors. In contrast to previous years where the queues snaked for several blocks, this one barely made it round the first corner.
At the head of the queue stood former truckdriver Steve Parkes, who’d been in position since Monday, having accepted a reported $950 fee from online jobs site Airtasker, which specialises in offering one-day errands and chores – to line-up wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the company’s logo. Steve cheerfully told CDN he’d never bought an Apple product and was unlikely to buy the new iPad for personal use, though he’d agreed to buy one for Airtasker.
On the other side of George Street around 70 souls straggled into Telstra’s store, though photographers appeared to outnumber buyers .
The three major carriers have all announced monthly-payment plans for the new iPad. Telstra’s consumer prices begin at $48 a month for 24 months for a 16GB model with Wi-Fi and 3G access; that amount allows for 1GB of data per month.
Vodafone plans start at $47 a month – not only $1 cheaper, but offering 2GB of data, twice the Telstra dose.