iPad 2 lines forming at Apple retail stores (Updated x2)

As expected, a number of people are choosing to line up at Apple’s retail stores across the U.S. in preparation for the official launch of the iPad 2 at 5:00 p.m. local time this evening. iLounge reader Peter Cruz sent in the above shot from outside the Apple Store in Pasadena, CA, where roughly 70 people were in line. Two of iLounge’s editors report that a significant line has formed at the Walden Galleria Apple Store in Buffalo, NY; a round-up of line reports from 9 to 5 Mac reveals that lines in other parts of the country range from the high teens into the hundreds. Overall, it appears that line sizes at Apple retail stores will be roughly consistent with past product launches, not counting the smaller than anticipated lines for last month’s Verizon iPhone 4 launch.

Update: Our iLounge editor at the South Coast Plaza Apple Store reports that roughly 100 people were in line for the iPad 2 as of 11:25 a.m. PT, while our editors in New York note that employees were going through the line using MacBook Airs to sign up any customers who didn’t already have an Apple ID, so that they would be ready to use FaceTime and make purchases from the iTunes and App Stores. Umbrellas have been handed out to customers waiting outside in the sun, while coffee and Smart Water have also been offered to those waiting in line—typical of Apple product launches. Finally, employees at the Walden Galleria Apple Store have set up the store’s in-window iPad 2 promo, with what appear to be higher than real resolution renderings.

Update x2: At the South Coast Plaza Apple Store, employees are going through the line asking customers what models they are purchasing and how many, with a limit of two per person. Notably, other stores were handing out numbers to customers in line; anyone who was out of the line when the numbers were passed out was potentially skipped over.

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