Amid the rushing passersby outside the flagship Apple Store, one man stood alone Thursday afternoon in the official line for Friday morning's iPad mini launch.
Luis Lorenzo braved New York City's transit system -- still weakened by flooding from Hurricane Sandy -- to get from East New York in Brooklyn to the Fifth Avenue Apple Store near Central Park. He commuted for two hours, 75 minutes of which he spent waiting for the F train to arrive.
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"I'm surprised a line hasn't formed yet. But Sandy and the transit system have made it hard for people to get here."
With a folding lawn chair and backpack in tow at 6 a.m., 42-year-old Lorenzo became the first person to queue up for Apple's latest iPad iteration.
He wants two iPad minis to give away as holiday gifts, he told Mashable at 12:30 p.m. ET Thursday.
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"I'm surprised a line hasn't formed yet," Lorenzo says. "But Sandy and the transit system have made it hard for people to get here. ... I think more people will start showing up at 8 or so."
Some people were unsure Thursday whether the iPad mini launch would still happen or even if NYC stores would be open Friday because of Sandy's aftermath. An Apple spokesperson, however, confirmed to Mashable the event will occur, and an employee at the flagship store said doors will open at 8 a.m.
Apple reportedly picked up employees, who for now don't have adequate transportation after Sandy hit, and shuttled them to Manhattan to work.
Lorenzo thinks crippled transportation isn't the only thing keeping people away from the flagship store. He believes the iPad mini's less expensive competition could be a factor, too.
Pre-orders for iPad mini began Oct. 26. The device costs between $329 and $539 for Wi-Fi-only versions and between $459 and $659 for cellular models.
Apple iPad Mini Hands-on
This story originally published on Mashable here.