Kazuki Miura, right, receives an iPad from fashion model, singer and actress Lena Fujii, left, on the Apple tablet's first sales day in Japan.
Kazuki Miura, right, receives an iPad from fashion model, singer and actress Lena Fujii, left, on the Apple tablet's first sales day in Japan. - 

Apple released the iPad outside of the U.S. today to enthusiastic fans in the U.K., Europe, Japan and beyond. Apple fans had much anticipated the tablet's debut after high U.S. demand caused delay of an international launch.

The long wait for the device plays into Apple's strategy, according to tech analyst Peter Buckley. The anticipation helps create a narrative around their products. "The really clever thing is that with each new line of products they bring out, they're preparing us for what they've got up their sleeves next," he says. "That's something Microsoft would never really do, because Microsoft has always been about Windows."

At Apple's flagship store in London, hundreds of tech enthusiasts were lined up at early hours, many of which were teenagers, says Marketplace's Stephen Beard. "The iPad is not something I need, but something I want," says one fan.

Apple recently made a splash as company stocks pulled ahead of Microsoft, but it may soon face stiff competition from the release of smaller tablets, including Dell's Streak. Some fans prefer smaller devices -- one boy shopping in London notes, "I wouldn't want to be seen carrying that on the bus. I'd feel an idiot, it's too big."