Consumers, some of whom queued through the night, have turned out in force to snap up the first iPads to go on sale in the UK.

Best Buy Hedge End

The iPad was on sale on the opening day of Best Buy’s second UK store in Hedge End.

The device went on sale at 8am this morning in manufacturer Apple’s stores, as well as 139 Currys and PC World shops and electricals newcomer Best Buy’s two stores.

Shoppers queued overnight at Apple’s flagship Regent Street store in order to be among the first to own the tablet computer, which went on sale at 8am and which some technology industry observers believe could be a game-changing product.

Currys and PC World-owner DSGi has stolen a march on rivals such as Comet, Best Buy-partner Carphone Warehouse, John Lewis and Tesco by arranging a 60-day period during which its competitors – other than the two Best Buy shops – will not be able to sell the iPad.

In the US, where the iPad went on sale in April, more than a million of the devices were sold within 28 days.