Friday, May 28, saw Canadians across the provinces lining up at outlets to get their hands on the latest from Apple. The iPad hit the U.S. over a month ago, selling a record million units in less than four weeks. Canadian sales will probably be a little less brusque, but no less exciting.

In Calgary, people lined up at the Market Mall and many “camped” as if waiting for concert tickets to the latest pop band. What won’t be counted this week are the number of Canadian gadget freaks who crossed the border to get theirs in the States when they first arrived in late April.

Unlike in the USA, Canadians aren’t stuck with one wireless carrier for their iPad either. Both Rogers and Bell offer data plans for the iPad (and iPhone). In the U.S., only AT&T customers can connect their iPad or iPhone to a cellular data network.

While Apple isn’t releasing any numbers on Canadian sales yet, it’s expected that at least a hundred thousand units will be sold the first weekend and triple that may be the total by the end of June.

=== Beware the Knockoffs

While they aren’t likely to be too prevalent in Canada, the ubiquitous Chinese knockoff of anything tech is also happening with the iPad. Barely three weeks after the U.S. release of the iPad, Chinese markets were showcasing knockoffs running everything from Android to Linux to Windows.

Called “shanghai” (fake), these have been available in China for some weeks and are now filtering into other world-wide black markets. Some may surface in Canada as they have in the U.S. (generally via online sellers).

=== To buy or not to buy?

This question plagues many people because, well, they like having the latest cool thing and think that the iPad might be useful, but aren’t sure about spending so much money on one. This is understandable, since the iPad can cost a week’s salary to many. Is it really justifiable?

So far, user experiences in the U.S. have shown that it’s hit-and-miss. eBook enthusiasts aren’t generally thrilled with the book reading performance of the iPad. Others, who might have expected that the gadget would be a netbook or similar small computer were disappointed to find that it’s really just an iPhone with a larger screen.

Most, however, have been happy (so far) with their purchase. The Internet is full of message boards and blogs with people touting the 10î screen and its performance playing movies, surfing the Web, and otherwise doing general on-the-go smart phone computing. It should be noted that it’s not nearly as portable as it’s cousin, the iPhone, so it’s not a “shove in your pocket and go” item.

All in all, your purchase of an iPad is up to you, but it’s logical that most will not really have a good use for one.

Having said that… I rushed out on launch day (just before lunch) and bought myself an iPad. As a devotee of the Apple brand I just ‘had’ to have one. And if you’d like to see yours-truly unboxing his shiny new iPad, you can check out what some media outlets are calling “porn for nerds” – it’s my iPad unboxing video.

Source by James Burchill

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