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Crowds greet international launch of iPad 2

Brandon Griggs
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iPad 2 goes on sale
  • Apple's iPad 2 went on sale Friday afternoon in 25 countries, including most of Europe
  • Lines greeted the device's launch in many cities, from Berlin to Ottawa to Sydney
  • Apple iPad
  • London
  • Apple Inc.

(CNN) -- Long lines were reported in Berlin, London, Sydney and other cities as the iPad 2, the newest version of Apple's popular touchscreen tablet, went on sale Friday afternoon in 25 countries.

By midafternoon on Friday, hundreds of people were lined up in bright sunshine outside Apple's London flagship store on Regent's Street. Those at the front of the line had been waiting for more than 33 hours by the time they got their hands on the device. Some spent the night in sleeping bags on the street.

"I've been here since yesterday morning at 7:30," said the first person in line, finance executive Jewels Lewis, 32. "Last year I was fourth in line. As a competitor you always want to be number one, to get the gold medal, and this year I've done it."

Witnesses counted more than 300 people in the line outside the Regent's Street store and another 500 outside an Apple store in Covent Garden. More than 450 were reported in line at the Regent's Street store for last year's launch of the original iPad.

One man in line on Regent's Street Friday said he was visiting from Moscow and prolonged his stay to buy an iPad 2.

The second generation of the iPad is lighter and thinner than the original, with two cameras and a faster processor. It went on sale Friday in 21 European countries plus Australia, Canada, Mexico and New Zealand.

Lines greeted its launch seemingly everywhere, from Ottawa, Canada, to Stockholm, Sweden. People began lining up outside an Apple store in Sydney, Australia, two days before the sought-after device went on sale.

Apple had originally planned to begin selling the iPad 2 in Japan Friday but delayed that launch in the wake of the destruction wrought there two weeks ago by an earthquake and tsunami.

The iPad 2 went on sale March 11 in the U.S. It will be available next month in Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore and additional countries.

CNN's Dylan Reynolds contributed to this story.


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