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Apr 12, 2010 9:59 AM by Erin Yeykal

iPad hype hits Bozeman

The much-hyped Apple iPad made its debut in Bozeman last weekend and has been flying off store shelves ever since.

When Vann's opened Saturday morning, there was a line outside the door, according to product manager Frank Palazzi. The store got 15 iPads on Saturday; by Monday there were sold out. The store is expecting to get more in soon.

"We had a lot of people that were waiting outside," Palazzi said. "We had a pretty good crowd in here. We actually unveiled the demonstration units at 8:45 a.m. and when we did that we had, probably, a good crowd here, and a lot of interest in it."

The iPad can also be found at the Montana State University bookstore. The bookstore received 18 on Monday, and by Friday afternoon, had only three left, employee Ben Niesley said.

The iPad starts at $499 for 16GB. There is also a 32GB model for $599 and a 64GB for $699.

The much-anticipated gadget has dominated online discussions for months, with some critics claiming that it will revolutionize media of all types, and some critics dismissing the iPad as simply a larger version of an iPod Touch.

Palazzi believes the hype is a combination of Apple marketing and the uniqueness of the product.

"It's a great platform too because it has an e-reader and that's all combined into one very small, light package," he said.

The iPad is more difficult to come by in other parts of the state. In Great Falls, electronic suppliers contacted by KRTV said they expect to carry the iPad eventually, but don't know when that date will come.

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