- Title: JAPAN: Apple's iPad makes splash in international debut
- Date: 29th May 2010
- Summary: CUSTOMER COUNTING MONEY APPLE STORE CASHIER CUSTOMER PURCHASING IPAD
- Embargoed: 13th June 2010 13:00
- Location: Japan
- Country: Japan
- Topics: Communications,Science / Technology
- Reuters ID: LVA1TU4P6B2Y5IEU96YUTTUG9L4P
- Story Text: Apple Inc's iPad hit overseas store shelves on Friday (May 28), with buyers storming Japanese shops to be among the first in Asia to snap up the long-awaited tablet PC.
Apple will also launch the iPad, which has a 9.7-inch color touchscreen for surfing the Web, watching movies, playing games and reading e-books, in Australia, Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, the UK and Canada on Friday.
At Apple's flagship store in Tokyo's Ginza shopping district, about 1,200 people lined up before the store opened at 8 a.m.
"I was the first one to line up because I absolutely wanted to be the first to have it. Also, I was lucky because I've got no job now and could get in the queue. And, frankly speaking, it's fun," said Takechiyo Yamanaka, a 19-year-old who camped out in front of the Ginza store from Wednesday evening to be the first in line.
Enthusiasm in Japan is good news for Apple as international sales are increasingly important for the maker of the Macintosh computer and iPhone.
Among the Apple fans waiting to purchase the pre-ordered device, video producer Ken Sekine lined up from the night before wearing a self-made iPad costume.
"I believe that iPad can change society. I expect it to contribute to a borderless world," he said.
Apple has sold a million iPads in the U.S. since its April 3 debut, exceeding even the most bullish pre-launch estimates. Demand was so heavy that the company had to delay the international roll-out by a month.
Including Japan, pre-order started on May 10. Atsushi Iizuka, one of the Japanese customers who pre-ordered the iPad as soon as it was launched, said he might give it as a gift to his parents in future.
"Once I start using it, if I find it really handy, I'd like to buy one also for my father and my mother," he said.
On Wednesday, Apple shot past Microsoft Corp as the world's biggest technology company based on market value, the latest milestone in the resurgence of the maker of the iPhone, which nearly went out of business in the 1990s.
Apple gets almost three-fifths of its revenue from overseas now, and is seeing stunning growth in Europe and Asia.
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