The iPad 2 is coming out tomorrow in 25 countries. As announced by Apple earlier this week, the device will be available in the following countries at 5 PM local time: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK. The launch was delayed in Japan as Apple is focusing on recovering from the earthquake and tsunami that hit the country two weeks ago, and helping out employees and their families.
In the 25 countries scheduled for launch tomorrow, the iPad 2 will be available in Apple retail stores and authorized resellers. With the Apple Stores opening at 5 PM (same as the US launch on March 11), it's no surprise that some people have decided to spend the whole day in line waiting for the doors to open -- but some Apple fans have really broken any record this time. Take the Sydney Apple as an example: as reported by Fortune, Alex Lee and Marius Eilertsen started waiting in front of the store on Wednesday, 53 hours before the iPad 2 launch. Crazy. They are, of course, no. 1 and 2 in line, but they had to bring chairs and blankets (and water, I guess) for their adventure. The line has grown bigger, and it's not extending down George Street with dozens of customers waiting.
We don't have pictures yet, but our writer Graham Spencer told us 10 people are already in line at the Perth Apple Store, 17 hours ahead of the Apple Store opening. We hope to get more info in a few hours.
A similar scenario from Italy, courtesy of our friends at iSpazio and iPadevice: a few people already in line at the Apple Stores in Rome and Milan, Apple employees discussing the launch (and apparently also showing off iPad 2 stock) and security staff setting up a plan for customers tomorrow. Apple product launches in Italy are usually pretty enjoyable, with people bringing food (pizza and cornetti, you hear me) and generally fighting to be interviewed by national TV stations. I don't know if I'll able to drive to the Rome Apple Store tomorrow, but I'll keep you posted if I do.
iPad 2 fans have also started camping out in Munich, Germany. The photo was taken a few hours ago, and the iPad 2 won't go on sale until tomorrow at 5 PM. That puts these people 26 hours ahead of the iPad 2 official launch.
If you have pictures and videos from an iPad line near you, send them off to tips[at]macstories.net and we'll update this post.
Update: more Australian iPad 2 launch pics from BeauGiles' photostream:
Lines also keep growing in Italy at the Rome and Milan Apple Stores. What's curious about the Italian launch is that the stores are located inside malls, and iPadevice reports this year the security staff won't let people stand in line in front of the stores and in the parking lots (outside the mall) at night. They'll have to wait in the street nearby the mall, and then rush inside again in the morning. Sounds a bit different from the usual US launch, and awful organization from the mall staff.
Update #2: iPad 2 line at the MacStore in Mexico City, courtesy of our reader Oscar:
Update #3: Australia, Charlestown Apple Store at 10am, featuring Apple's coffee and biscotti. Thanks to our good friends at Glasshouse Apps for the photos.
Update #4: iPad 2 line at the Apple Store in Eaton’s Centre in Toronto, courtesy of iPadInCanada.
If you want more info on all the iPad 2 lines in the UK, this website is doing a terrific job at collecting them all with live updates.
Update #5: Well I (Graham, not Federico!) decided to check out the lines at the only Apple Store in Perth (West Australia). I got there at about 1PM, a full four hours before the iPad 2 goes on sale and the line had already been split into two sections, one ~50m line heading out the Apple store (going left on the photos) and another on the other side of the road on the right, this second one was much more like 100m long. It was hard to count a rough figure but there was definitally more than 100 people in line at that time and I suspect many more will be heading out in the lead up to the 5PM launch.
Lining up at the Perth Apple Store for the launch would be close to the most torturous of all lines, it was a sweltering 36 C (close to 100F) and even under those trees it was really hot. Apple employees were handing out cold bottles of water, sunscreen and also icy poles! (Click the images for larger versions)
Update #6: iPad 2 line at Apple Store Centro Oberhausen and Frankfurt, Germany. [via]
Update #7: Huge line at Southampton WestQuay Apple Store. Our reader Chris says there are 3 different queues and Apple staff suggested there might be problems with stock shortage.
iPad 2 line in Madrid, Spain:
Update #8: The Apple Stores are now open in Italy, and the guys at iPadevice have posted videos of Apple employees cheering for the release of the iPad 2:
The first customer: