Apple 2.0

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The iPad Air at NYC's Fifth Ave: Apple's quietest iPad launch yet

November 1, 2013: 9:47 AM ET

We counted 419 customers, 50% of 2012's iPad mini launch, 35% of 2011's iPad 2.

Fifth Ave. at 7:30 a.m. Photo: PED.

Fifth Ave. at 7:30 a.m. Photo: PED.

FORTUNE -- It was raining lightly in New York City for the launch of the iPad Air -- the fifth iPad that Apple (AAPL) has released since 2010 and the first of two coming out this fall. (The second, the Retina iPad mini is due before the end of November.)

But rather than blame the weather for the light turnout -- the lightest yet for an iPad at Apple's Fifth Ave. store -- perhaps we should marvel at the fact that hundreds of New Yorkers and New York tourists will still line up in the rain for yet another variation on a three-and-a-half-year-old theme, no matter how positive theĀ reviews.

Four minutes after the 8:00 a.m. launch, I counted 392 customers in the main line and 27 in pre-order, a total of 419.

In the spreadsheet below, note that I disagree with Piper Jaffray's iPad Mini/4th Gen number. I counted 801 heads that day.

Screen Shot 2013-11-01 at 11.17.56 AM

Below: 15 seconds of video from the event.

http://youtu.be/ZZRlpeclHSk

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About This Author
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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