By Philip Elmer-DeWitt
May 27, 2010

Customers camped out overnight in cities around the world to buy Apple’s tablet computer

[UPDATE: About 1,200 customers had lined up outside Apple’s flagship store in Tokyo’s Ginza district when the doors finally opened at 8 a.m., according to Reuters.]

Rahul Koduri, 22, had been sitting in front of an Apple Store in Sydney, Australia, since 2 a.m. Thursday.

In Tokyo, Takechiyo Yamanaka planted his folding camp chair outside Apple’s Ginza store on Wednesday.

By Friday morning, 24 hours before the doors were schedule to open, queues had already formed in front of the company’s flagship store on Regent Street in London.

Apple’s (AAPL) iPad, which debuted in the U.S. on April 3, goes on sale Friday at 8 a.m. local time in nine more countries: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the U.K.

Apple began taking pre-orders from this second wave of customers on May 10, and according to one report, has already logged nearly 900,000 in Europe alone. This on top of the 1 million units it sold in the U.S. in its first 28 days.

In July — assuming it can replenish its limited supplies — the company is scheduled to begin selling the device in Austria, Belgium, Hong Kong, Ireland, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand and Singapore.

Below: More photos from Tokyo courtesy of Gizmodo Japan.

[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]

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