Hundreds brave the rain to be first to get their hands on Apple's latest product -- the iPad Air.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (NOVEMBER 1, 2013) (REUTERS) - Fans of Apple's gadgets braved stormy weather and long lines in New York to be the first to get their hands on the new iPad Air on Friday (November 1).
Rami Shamas was the lucky customer to be first in line.
"I've been waiting from 6pm. It was really fun and hard, but I like that I'm here now and I'm the first one. I was dreaming about this and this happened!" said Shamas, who enjoyed his moment in the spotlight when he exited the store with his new purchase.
The latest upgrade to the iPad line is not cheap, but reviews have been positive for the thinner device. The iPad Air weighs just 1 pound, down from 1.4 pounds for the previous top-of-the-line model, the iPad 4, which is being discontinued.
The new iPad clocks a battery life of 12 hours and 13 minutes, which exceeded Apple's claim.
However, Air is pricier than many of its competitors at $499 (USD).
Amazon.com Inc's 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HDX costs $379, Microsoft's Surface 2 starts from $449, while Samsung's Galaxy Tab 3 10.1-inch tablet has a suggested retail price of $400.
The price did not discourage customers at the Apple store.
"I wanted a new iPad. I didn't know that it was going to sell just today and I didn't want to buy the old one. So, I don't know. I stand here in the line for a few hours. . . under the rain," said Thais Francesconi, who stumbled across the retail event.
"I had the third generation and now I think it's time to upgrade to the new Air. And I like that it's lighter, it's thinner, and it's better and more powerful," said Wall.
The iPad Air marks the first big product launch from the large consumer electronics companies heading into the all important holiday shopping season.