Eager tech fans emerge with first new iPads

iPad
The new Apple iPad being unveiled at a launch party at Kings Place, London. Photo: PA

Hundreds of people gathered in London today so they could be among the first to get their hands on Apple's latest iPad.

Gadget fans queued for days on Regent Street and for more than 31 hours outside Apple's flagship store in Covent Garden so they could purchase the third version of the tablet computer.

Twitter user @Orn8 posted this photo of a what he says is the first person to emerge with the new iPad from the Regent Street store this morning.

new iPad owner
A man shows his new iPad to photographers outside the Apple Store on Regent Street. Credit: Twitter / @Orn8

Jubilant fans leaving the Covent Garden store included Dipak Varsani, who started queuing at 1am yesterday.

He said: "I am very excited, I have been following this since it was announced, all the rumours and everything.

"Being able to finally have it in my hand is really an experience.

"It is better than the other iPads because of the HD resolution - you've got clearer movies and clearer games - I use it as a multimedia device."

YouTube user Kenneth Lim posted this video of clapping Apple staff welcoming the morning's first customers:

Rob Livingstone, a technology expert from the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia, says the new version is "just an incremental improvement" on the iPad 2:

But despite competition from cheaper rivals the iPad remains the most popular tablet computer.

Apple has sold more than 55 million iPads since its launch in 2010, including 40 million last year.

The California-based company said the "retina display", which uses 3.1 million pixels on the 9.7in display screen, would have "the highest resolution display ever on a mobile device".

Another feature is a high-speed 4G wireless network which will allow users to download pictures and films quicker than before, but which is not available in the UK yet.