Fans of Apple's gadgets braved stormy weather and long lines in New York to be the first to get their hands on the new iPad Air on Friday (November 1).

At the flagship Apple Store on 5th Avenue in New York, hundreds of customers lined up overnight to wait for the store to open at 0800edt (1200gmt).

Rami Shamas was the lucky customer to be first in line.

"I've been waiting from 6pm. It was really fun and hard, but I like that I'm here now and I'm the first one. I was dreaming about this and this happened!" said Shamas, who enjoyed his moment in the spotlight when he exited the store with his new purchase.

The latest upgrade to the iPad line is not cheap, but reviews have been positive for the thinner device. The iPad Air weighs just 1 pound, down from 1.4 pounds for the previous top-of-the-line model, the iPad 4, which is being discontinued.

The new iPad clocks a battery life of 12 hours and 13 minutes, which exceeded Apple's claim.

It also features two antennas to pull in Wi-Fi signals faster than the previous versions did and is powered by the A7 64-bit chip, which, according to Apple, means smoother animation in 3D games

However, Air is pricier than many of its competitors at £399 ($499)

"I wanted a new iPad. I didn't know that it was going to sell just today and I didn't want to buy the old one. So, I don't know. I stand here in the line for a few hours. . . under the rain," said Thais Francesconi, who stumbled across the retail event.

The iPad Air marks the first big product launch from the large consumer electronics companies heading into the all-important Christmas shopping season.

Presented by Adam Justice

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