Analysts Gene Munster and Douglas Clinton, who are closely watched on a lot of their Apple predictions, had low expectations for today's launch of the Air.
Munster observes that last year at this time there was a line of 580 people outside the flagship Apple store in New York City, whereas this year he observed about 365 people at 8 a.m. this morning.
We believe lines were slightly better than our low expectations and note that investors need to remember that today is only the launch for the iPad Air. Given the declining popularity of the full-sized iPad (~40% of units in Sep-13), we believed that lines could be fairly minimal for the iPad Air. All-in we expect 2.5-3.5 million iPad Airs to be sold launch weekend.
Munster shows a table of comparative line counts for each of the iPad debuts since April of 2010: