We were surprised by the size of the line of people waiting for the iPad 2 outside the Apple Store at University Village this afternoon — stretching all the way around the block and requiring Apple employees to confer with mall security to figure out where to put people so as not to disrupt traffic. (They ended up doubling the line back upon itself to make room.)

So who was at the front of this madness? Otto Wiskerchen, 41, of Montlake Terrace, who tells GeekWire’s John Cook his story in this video.

Just how big was the line? Here’s John walking the entire thing a little bit after 4 p.m.

We’re told there were 120 people working in the store today. When the doors opened, customers entered to the U2 song “Where the Streets Have no Name,” followed by another Apple favorite, The Beatles, with “Magical Mystery Tour.” This was the scene at the entrance.

And more ..

We talked with a bunch of people in line beforehand, including some real characters, so stay tuned for more in a follow-up post. In the meantime, here are some photos from inside the store.

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  • http://www.jrotech.com/ Jeff Rodenburg

    The lines for new product releases from Apple seem kind of silly anymore. Not directed at the folks in line, as they seem to be excited. But Apple’s retail approach of product releases (Apple store exclusive availability, followed by major partners a few days/weeks later) is a bit too calculated for me.

    It was one thing when there were lines for the first iPhone — it was an epic release that changed our culture. Back then, Apple was still establishing itself as something more than just the creator of the most popular digital music player.

    But now, Apple is big brother – technically, culturally and financially. The implication of manufactured scarcity is just that — manufactured. The long lines of people waiting to get their hands on the next incremental product update plays to, in my opinion, the worst elements of consumerism and materialism in our culture.

    It might be good business for Apple to drive product demand, but Apple has consistently said their products sell themselves, and they do. (We own several Apple products in our household.) There’s just no further need for Apple to drive product releases in this manner.

  • Anonymous

    I did not read the article or watch the video. I saw the headline and have only one reaction “what an idiot”.

  • Zippysmugdust

    Songs that should have been playing:

    – Poor Poor Pitiful Me
    – Longview
    – In The Garage

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