Crowds gather for iPad Air Release

Apple's iPad Air, a thinner, lighter and faster-running version of its previous large tablet computers, goes on sale Friday. At Apple's flagship store in New York City on Fifth Avenue, soggy weather couldn't keep aspiring owners from the new gadget.

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At Apple's flagship store in New York City on Fifth Avenue, soggy weather couldn't keep aspiring owners from the new gadget.
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NBC New York
An Apple employee directs customers waiting outside of the flagship store. Despite the rain, customers wait patiently to purchase the newly release iPad Air. Apple is expecting strong sales of both models — so much so that CEO Tim Cook told analysts during the company's most recent earnings conference call that "this is going to be an iPad Christmas" as he predicted year-over-year growth.
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Michael Douglas, a customer from Queens, New York purchased the newly released iPad Air from the Apple Store on 5th Avenue in Manhattan on Friday, Nov. 1, 2013. Douglas said he purchased the tablet for his best friend, whose birthday is coming up soon. “I’ve come for the iPhone 3GS release, back in the day, but that was about it. I think it was definitely more painful, because, you know, back then the 3GS was the biggest possible thing you could have,” he said, referring to the notoriously long lines at Apple product releases.
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NBC New York
The new 9.7-inch iPad Air, which weighs just one pound and is 20 percent thinner than the previous model, was presented as "the lightest full size tablet in the world." It is up to eight times faster than the older generation and boasts 10 hours of battery life, Apple said.
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NBC New York
Antsy customers make their way down the stairway at the Apple Store on 5th Avenue in New York, Friday, Nov. 1, 2013, after waiting in line to purchase the new iPad Air.
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NBC New York
Employees at the Apple "Genius Bar" try to manage the long line of customers on the day of the iPad Air release on Friday, Nov. 1, 2013 at the flagship Apple Store on 5th Avenue in New York.
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NBC New York
Apple employees assist customers with purchases and manage the crowded lines at the flagship Apple Store on 5th Avenue in New York on Friday, Nov. 1, 2013. The new iPad Air was released on Friday after it was announced just a week prior.
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NBC New York
Customers surround an Apple "genius" giving a tutorial of the new iPad Air at the flagship Apple Store in New York, on Friday, Nov. 1, 2013. The iPad Air was released that morning.
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NBC New York
A man reads a newspaper outside while Apple employees direct customers waiting to purchase the new iPad Air at the Apple Store on 5th Avenue in New York, Friday, Nov. 1, 2013.
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