When do Apple staffers get their iPads?April 3, 2010: 7:16 AM ET
That depends. Like a lot of people, some of them don't quite see the need
It's 8:00 a.m. EST, an hour before the doors of the big glass cube are scheduled to open, and a pair of Apple (AAPL) employees in blue T-shirts are making their way through the reservation line, which has grown to at least 300.
They have iPod touches and they're our checking names against their computer list.
One of them, a young woman named Shannon with a blond beehive and facial piercings, assures us that the Fifth Ave. Apple Store has enough stock to supply iPads for everybody in line, with or without reservations. She's played with the device in the store and reports that it's faster and more "solid" than she expected.
Is she getting one?
"I don't know," she says. "I have a Mac and an iPhone and an iPod and I don't see the need. I'm going to wait."
If she waits long enough, Steve Jobs may give her one. In June 2007, just before the original iPhone launched, Jobs held an all-hands meeting to tell Apple staffers that he was giving everyone who had been with the company for at least a year a free 8GB iPhone.
[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]