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Fanboi frenzy cools at Oz iPad Air launch

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Video Australia's location close to the International Date Line and Apple's policy of putting new products on sale at the same time everywhere in the world mean The Reg's Australian office gets the world's first look at fanboi reaction to new kit from the fruit factory. We do so at Apple Store Broadway, an Apple Store about three kilometres from Apple's Australian mothership but rather easier to access in the morning rush.

Fanbois are pretty much the same each time: they arrive early, they can't quite explain why they are there.

Apple staff, however, go through some odd rituals. For the iPhone 5 launch we filmed them standing in a circle, chanting and clapping before assembling a friendly gauntlet for fanbois to run.

At the iPhone 5s and 5c launch we saw all manner of chanting and clapping, some of it quite frenzied.

Today's effort was a little different.

Firstly, Apple laid on snacks for Fanbois, which we haven't seen before. A trolley laden with sugary baked treats rolled around.

The second change to the usual routine started around 7:30, half an hour before the store opened, when Apple staff disappeared through the Store's single door.

They soon re-emerged amid the usual joyous whooping, but the group of workers soon broke up, with lone staffers splitting off to stand alone by a particular table. The remaining mob migrated from table to table, presumably to imbibe some particular words of wisdom at each table in some in-store odyssey

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Once that was done the staffers lined up in their familiar formation and welcomed the first five folks in the queue through the doors before counting down from ten to one and welcoming the rest of the slavering crowd inside.

That crowd was not large: we counted only 40 in the queue at 7:30 AM. The chap at the head of the queue arrived at just 6:00 AM to secure his spot and found it hard to get in because the mall was not yet open. That's a big contrast to iPhone launches, for which the mall directs staff to arrange a queue outside for those who want to wait all night and then ushers them inside as the sun rises. iPhone launches also attract hundreds of waiting fanbois.

Folks we chatted to in the queue were going large: the 128GB iPad Air was on their minds.

Adam, at the head of the queue, figured his new tablet would help with his studies. Grace, a Chinese student, was exercising her freedom to queue before an imminent return to her home nation. Anthony, third in line, was a position or two back from his usual Apple launch slot and had the most cogent explanation for his intended purchase: he's out of memory in his 64GB iPad.

Airline pilot Craig, fourth in line, wants a reliable, light device he can take on overnight trips. He's tried HTC phones, found them unreliable, and is now a dedicated Apple buyer. He's also a clever one: Apple Store Broadway is indoors and has undercover parking. Apple's flagship Sydney store has no cover and is located in a noisy concrete canyon.

The crowd swelled to about 50 by the time Vulture South left. iPad Airs were selling well, but the atmosphere was much less frenetic than at iPhone launches. Feel free to pop your Peak Apple theories into the comments. ®

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