Monday, May 17, 2010

The trials of getting an iPad

My long-awaited iPad finally arrived! And what a journey it took to get here.  The voyage was made possible through the help of three good Samaritans. The iPad itself, meanwhile, traveled from China to New York and back to Asia, racking up more frequent flyer miles than I have all year. And now nerds, without further ado, I bring you the trials of getting an iPad without paying exorbitant fees. Grab a sandwich, this won't be short.

First, I have to say that yes, you can get an iPad easily from importers. But you will pay more -- I estimate the going rate is 50% more that the price in the US Apple Store. I'm too cheap to give these people money for nothing, so I chose to do things the hard way.

Find a friend
Maybe I have the wrong friends, but no one I was willing to bother was going to America. My wife volunteered her friend Happy, who is studying in America. Happy purchased an iPad from only to find out that you need a credit card with a US billing address to buy an iPad online. Bummer! (However any international credit card will do if you go to an Apple Store. We know this because Happy had already bought one from the store.)

Find a friend of a friend with a US credit card
In the end, Happy's roommate Charleen volunteered to buy the iPad, and before we could say no, it was purchased. Bless her soul!

Or just lie
Another friend told me that all you have to do is lie about your billing address, but I have yet to try this method out. I have problems with lying.

Ship to America
iPads start international shipping by the end of May, so I had the iPad sent to Johnny Air in Queens. As it turns out, Apple had wizened up to this method of sneaking iPads out of America and cancelled the order promptly.

Try again
On the weekend that the order was cancelled, Happy and Charleen went around NYC to just buy the damn thing from the store. As luck would have it, all the stores were sold out at the time.

Make some calls
Happy and Charleen wouldn't take no for an answer and made some calls to Apple and Johnny Air. In the end, Apple agreed to complete the order if we sent the iPad to another address. Good Samaritan number three, an executive from Johnny Air, agreed to have the iPad sent to his home in Manhattan. Now that's what I call service.

One more time with feelings
This time around, Apple's delivery had slowed to 7-10 days, so we had to wait a bit for it to arrive at Johnny Air boss' house.

According to the tracking system, the iPad traveled from the factory in China to Hong Kong to New York. After it arrived in Johnny Air boss' house, he sent it to the Philippines. Estimated time to arrival? One more week.

Thanks to our three friends, Happy, Charleen ad Mr Johnny Air for making it all possible! You've made this third world nerd very happy!


OrangeJar said...

wow! what a tale. had a bit of the same problem when i tried getting an ibook (you can imagine how many years back that was) for me and my mom. online apple stores wouldn't accept international cards so I ended up buying at Amazon. my mom was in the US at the time, so I sent hers, and just opted out for mine. she's the the type who sends ipods in unregistered mails so i didn't want to risk losing my ibook in transit. lol. but congrats! you got your ipad!

browneyedgirl said...

I just read that China just came out with their version... the 'iPED.' the factory which manufactures it is located very close to the factory of iPAD in china. the price? $150.

Anonymous said...

Congrts on getting the iPad! When will you post your review? Still thinking about it.....