Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


iPad Air takes flight

03 November 2013, 08:12

Tokyo - For one Japanese man, being at the front of a Tokyo queue as the new iPad debuted on Friday was his way of saying "thank you" to Apple after a year that turned his life around.

Takaaki Sasaki, who designed an app that became a hit in Japan, was one of hundreds who poured into Apple's flagship store in the glitzy Ginza district as the doors opened on the latest tablet offering from the sector's agenda-setter.

The launch had little of the razzmatazz of previous iPads or iPhones, with potential customers perhaps swayed by a critical reception that was largely positive but dominated by the theme that the iPad Air was no game-changer.

The worldwide rollout kicked off Down Under, with Apple in Australia saying there were queues outside its stores when the doors opened, with several hundred people reportedly lining up outside its flagship Sydney outlet.

At the sprawling, three-storey Apple shop in downtown Beijing - the largest Apple store in Asia - each customer was greeted with cheers and applause from around 25 employees in bright blue shirts, with another dozen workers standing ready to give a second round of applause at the cash registers downstairs.

In Singapore, Edmond Ong, a spokesperson for retailer Epicentre, said sales were muted compared with last year's iPad launch.

"We are not too worried as we still see a steady stream of customers coming in to get the iPad this morning," he said.

‘Not revolutionary’

The Air is jostling for buyers' attention against a burgeoning array of competitor tablets, even as the marketplace explodes.

Figures released on Thursday showed worldwide tablet shipments rose by a third to 47.6 million units in the third quarter compared with the same period last year, while Apple's share of the market slid to 29.6%, its lowest ever, technology market research firm IDC said.

The new iPad Air is thinner than the version it replaces, weighs around 450g, and is "screaming fast," Apple vice president Phil Schiller said at the unveiling in San Francisco on 23 October.

Apple also showcased an upgraded Mini that will go on sale later this month with a retina display.

Both new models feature the Apple-designed A7 chip with 64-bit "desktop-class architecture", the company said.

Damon Darlin in the New York Times summed up the feelings of many reviewers, lauding the Air's lower weight, thinner profile and souped-up operating system.

But, he said: "I can't really tell you to replace your old iPad; the improvements on the new one are incremental, not revolutionary."

Tear-filled eyes

However, in Japan, home to some of Apple's most enthusiastic fans, the launch had its usual fanfare and tales of people queuing for days.

Kodai Taguchi, a 20-year-old university student, said he has more than a dozen Apple products after "queuing every time a new version is released".

"As soon as I held the box, I could already tell how light it is," he said. "I think I like this the most among all my Apples."

For queue leader Sasaki, the open-air vigil had all been worth it.

"So many miracles have happened to me this year thanks to my Apple products," he said.

Tears filled his eyes as he held his newly-purchased iPad Air, surrounded by a clutch of Japanese journalists.

Unemployed Sasaki, who travelled from northern Iwate, said after years of drifting, Apple had brought him a run of luck when he wrote a hit app.

The app - a searchable version of Japan's constitution - was voted the best in the App Store's business category and its sudden rise to prominence provided fodder for a book he authored in August.

"I wanted to show my gratitude to Apple by being first in line," he said.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...