The iPad mini went on sale this morning in 34 countries and it looks to be off to a pretty solid start. Now, much ado is being made about lines not being as long as during past product launches. This is understandable: after all, the iPad mini launch is somewhat subdued because of the fallout from Hurricane Sandy. Still, eager fans reportedly visit flagship Apple stores in considerable numbers to pick up the new device which most reviewers deemed an attractive buy.

In New york, in about two hours the iPad mini sold out at Apple’s flagship Manhattan store on the Fifth Avenue. In case you’be been wondering about the headcount, Fortune’s Philip Elmer-DeWitt reports of more than 800 customers standing in the line by the time the 10am countdown began. So much about “disappointing crowds”

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has the story:

But shortly before 8 a.m., when the store usually opens for a new launch, I had a headcount of 550. According to the records Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster has been keeping since 2008 (see below), that’s more customers than turned out for the iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4S.

And by 9:56 a.m. — four minutes before the doors finally opened — I counted 801 men, women and children. Only the iPhone 4 (1,300) and iPad 2 (1,190) drew bigger crowds.

He also took a nice shot of the line outside Apple’s trademark glass cube in New York.

Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster, who pegged opening weekend sales at 1.5 million units, did the headcounts.

And here’s DeWitt’s video of walking the iPad mini line at the Fifth Avenue store.

And the obligatory countdown.

This being Apple’s flaghship store, a near-record turnout was expected.

From what we’re hearing, most of Apple’s other stores around the country don’t have anyone in line.

We’re curious to learn about the turnout at your local Apple store so fill us in on the situation down in the comments.

  • WOW… APPLE RUKES THE WORLD… no android devices ever attract this kind or human response..

    • Propnic Wainfeiver

      Now some fagg android fan gonna come and dislike you comment

  • Here in Germany it sufficed in one store just 15 min!!

  • Glad people realize thier priorities…

    • CollegiateLad

      Typical response to an Apple product launch. “People should be out saving the world instead of standing in line” – Happens every time. Yet the idiot making the comment is here reading about people wasting their time. If I thought the book “1984” was a waste of time, I durn sure wouldn’t be reading it.

  • And analysts were saying it wouldn’t sell well, in your face, god dammit!

  • NinjaCEO

    Dammit. I’ve been waiting all day for UPS to show up! Sick of sitting here…

  • M L

    I’m a native NYorker and an apple fan boy..but this is just disgusting….they must have stepped over wood from destroyed homes, generators for people who have no power or hot food, to get into line for a damn ipad. There are times when it is good to love products..but there are times to be better then a selfish human being when other people are suffering BLOCKS from where you are standing.

    • Andrew Nez

      Agreed. I live on the other side of the world (Australia) and I’m still disgusted looking at this. If you have the luxury of a few free hours in New York this week, this isn’t how you should be spending your time.

  • Nikos

    Ok, now that the crazy people (literally), bought their iPads, lets see how the sales of this completely unnecessary gadget will hold in, say, one or two weeks.

    @ M L, you are 100% right. Some people have an insanely selfish attitude.