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Lines for New Apple iPad Down 75%: Report

The lines for the newiPad Friday were more than 75 percent shorter than the crowds that gathered to buy the iPad 2 a year ago, according to a survey by one research firm.

The new iPad is displayed during an Apple product launch event at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on March 7, 2012 in San Francisco, Ca.
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The new iPad is displayed during an Apple product launch event at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on March 7, 2012 in San Francisco, Ca.

“We counted roughly 550 people on line at 5 locations combined, vs. the 2,300 people we counted in our iPad 2 survey last year,” wrote Daniel Ernst of Hudson Square Research in a report to clients this morning.

“All but three of the people we spoke with already owned an iPad. During our iPad 2 survey last year we found 69 percent of our 80 respondents did not already have the iPad 1.”

To be sure, the analyst was not worried about the weak results in his spot survey of stores in the Connecticut and New York area, claiming that more people were ordering the device online. There is currently a two-to-three week wait time for online delivery for the device, according to Ernst, who has a “buy” rating on the stock.

However, this report could be concerning to those who feel Apple’s stock is priced for perfection. The shares are up 50 percent this year and briefly touched $600 this week.

iPad 2, released March 2011, featured more improvements over its predecessor, such as two cameras and a 33 percent thinner width. This time, Apple is promoting the new iPad’s so-called Retina display and its 4G network capabilities.

“We have to assume that the hype that follows the release of each new iPad will dissipate incrementally faster than the one before,” said Jim Iuorio, managing director at TJM Institutional Services, who is short the shares. “It is a tremendous company, perhaps one of the most impressive historically, but that doesn’t mean it can’t have dramatic corrections.”

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