03/16/2012 01:43 EDT | Updated 05/16/2012 05:12 EDT

New iPad in stores today draws crowds

Consumers across Canada lined up at Apple stores and other electronics retailers today to be among the first to own a third-generation iPad.

The latest version of the industry-leading touchscreen tablets went on sale in Canada and nine other countries, including France, the U.S., Germany, Japan, Switzerland, the U.K. and Australia.

In Vancouver, lines were shorter than for previous iPad launches. Around 80 people waited at the downtown Apple Store, a smaller group than the hundreds who turned out for earlier generations of the device.

Dan McIntosh was at the head of the line of about 20 people waiting outside a computer store in Thunder Bay, Ont. He arrived at 4 a.m. ET to secure his place.

"My girlfriend's birthday is coming up, so I wanted to be sure I got one," he told CBC News.

At the Apple Store in the Eaton Centre in Toronto dozens of early-morning buyers for the California company's tablet waited in line for the store to open at 8 a.m.

"I love Apple products, MacBooks, oh yeah,” said one of about 100 customers waiting to get into the store before it opened.

About 300 people gathered at the Apple Store in the Southgate Mall in Edmonton, with one man arriving at 4 p.m. on Thursday, because he wanted to make sure he has "the latest and the greatest."

Although this version of the iPad does not have a new name, it does have upgraded features including a sharper display, faster processing speed, and a five megapixel camera, up from 0.7 megapixels for the iPad2. At 640 grams, the New iPad is slightly heavier than its predecessors because of its higher capacity battery.

The cheapest Wi-Fi-only model goes for $519, while the most expensive version, which can access mobile networks and has 64 GB of storage, sells for $849.

International shopping

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak lined up with his wife at the West Field Mall in Century City, Los Angeles, according to What’s The video of the interview is dark, and shows Wozniak at the head of a four-person line.

“My wife was the first, I was the second. We came at about noon. We’re used to Northern California where the store lines start early,” he said.

Elsewhere, the lines were much longer. In Tokyo, about 450 lined up at Apple’s Ginza store. The store opened two hours earlier than normal, at 8 a.m.

In Hong Kong, buyers entered a random draw online to be able to purchase a new iPad, and winners were given a pre-set time to pick up their devices. They also had to present a local ID card, to make sure they were from Hong Kong and not from mainland China where a release date has not yet been set.

The next wave of iPad sales starts on March 23 in Spain, Sweden, the Netherlands, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy and 18 other countries.

For those looking to buy online, Apple says it will be two to three weeks before those orders are processed.

Australia was the first country to start selling the devices. The American website iFixit, which writes repair manuals for tech gear by taking the items apart, flew a representative over to buy it before it hit the shelves in the U.S. Video and images of the teardown can be seen on the site.