'It is hard to understand,' said one Apple employee who just had to leave the store to check out the minimal queue for himself. 'We engineer these things to the nth degree, tweak them and even check them for quality,' he said, running his hand alongside an Apple devotee stood outside. He indicated two others also stood in an orderly queue while freely acknowledging that there was plenty of room inside the store, apart from the large pile of unsold iPad minis.
In London the surprise was less obvious; in a country that is dedicated to queuing from birth, standing in a line around a glass fronted building is considered normal activity even for those who don't like Apple products. The Regent Street deputy manager shook his head at this analysis, though.
'It doesn't bear credibility, the suggestion that there are some people who don't love Apple products,' he said, hugging a couple of unsold iPad minis to his chest for solace. 'I know that there have been a lot of Android devices,' he said, clearly choking on the very words, ' being sold at the moment, what with the Amazon Fire and the Google Nexus tablets, but they are for the poor of this planet who unfortunately cannot afford an iPad mini,' he suggested, while making noises similar to a cat clearing fur balls. 'In fact,' he added, brightening up, 'Apple are thinking of donating some of its products to the third world.'
Apple shares slid on the NYSE when the first analysis of the queue length was announced. 'We factor in a lot of variables when determining the price of stock,' said one trader, adding, 'including demand, but mainly the length of the queue outside the stores. That's why we don't trade shares on a Sunday,' he added sagely. He acknowledged that strong sales of the new iPad mini would be welcome, but really the industry standard was based on queue length.
Outside the New York Apple Store it started raining again and the Apple employees inside stood looking worriedly at the glass frontage and the three or four eager potential Apple purchasers huddling together for protection. At the sight of the rain starting to fall a carefully planned Apple protocol slid into action and a bevy of iPad minis were passed out of the door to provide cover for the waiting customers.
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