Above: The New iPad on the left, iPad 2 on the right. This picture doesn't do the new iPad justice but trust me: You can tell the difference when you see them side-by-side in person
So I had a sweet idea for a story today: Go to both Verizon and AT&T stores and Boston and run multiple LTE speed tests over the new iPad to see which one consistently delivered faster coverage in my home city. At last, a way for me to test out the big carriers' 4G connectivity on the same device and in the same location! The plan was brilliant except that both AT&T stores that I went to were not displaying the new iPad and wouldn't let me play around with any of the ones they had for sale in their backroom.
I asked the folks at both stores why the new iPads weren't yet on display and they responded that they hadn't yet received the display materials for them and that they expect to have them up on Monday. So I decided to go to nearby Verizon stores to see if they had the same issues. Guess what? Both stores I went to had the new iPad on full display and ready to test out.
Now, I'm not narcissistic enough to think that every single store should have a display of every single new device on the day it's launched just for my benefit. But from a business standpoint, I found this rather... curious? I mean, this isn't just another Droid phone or another Samsung Galaxy tablet hitting the market. It's the freaking new iPad. And you would think that any company selling this device would want to have it proudly displayed within their retail stores on the very first day of its availability. You know, so people could play around with it and decide that it's awesome and maybe buy it from you. Not having them on display is a little like having a Black Friday sale without advertising your prices anywhere. I mean, people who are curious may indeed find out what you're selling but wouldn't it make more sense to just have it all out there for public consumption?
At any rate, here are some other observations from New iPad Day:
How about the rest of you? What were your impressions of the new iPad if you got around to checking one out?
Also: If you'd like to see what the rest of the world did on iPad Day, be sure to check out our slideshow of pictures from 'round the globe of people lined up to get their favorite tablets.