With the iPad mania reaching its peak just hours before Apple starts selling its game-changing tablet in the U.S. on Saturday (at about 6.30 pm IST), there was bad news for someone special who has been heading the waiting line outside Apple’s Manhattan flagship store since Tuesday to become the first person to get the gizmo.

Professional line sitter Greg Packer, who was also the first American to get the iPhone at its launch in 2007, lost his front position in the line on Friday because he had not reserved his iPad.

Apple is handing out the tablet first to those who had reserved it. The device will also be couriered or delivered at stores to those who pre-ordered it before it becomes available to the general public. Mr. Packer, a Long Island resident, who retired as highway maintenance worker, has been waiting outside the Apple Store since Tuesday, sleeping at the nearby Penn Station.

Since he had not reserved the iPad, he had to give way to German blogger Richard Gutjahr who was second behind him in the line. Excited about becoming the first person to get the iPad, Mr. Gutjahr said, “Apparently nobody before me in the original line had a reservation... crazy.”

Mr. Gutjahr told a blog that Mr. Packer is angry about being forced to drop back. “He seems to be really mad. Funny thing: the media still thinks he’d be the number one who gets the iPad. But he needs to wait until the reserved line is done. And that one is lead by me. Who would have thought this?”

The German said about 20 people are camping all night outside the store to get their iPad when the sale begins at 9 am (6.30 pm IST). Despite losing the race to become the world’s first owner of the iPad, Mr. Packer still holds many records for being first at many events and getting the first iPhone.

He was first in the line for Ground Zero after its opening, the first person to greet George Bush after his inauguration, the first at the launch of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in 2005, the first at the Super Bowl victory rally of the New York Giants and the first at President Bill Clinton’s first book signing function.

Before he had to drop down the waiting line, the professional line sitter said in a You Tube video interview that he wanted the iPad badly “because it’s like a mini laptop. I mean, you just, you know, click it on, just like you click the iPhone on. And you don’t have to open it up, and you know, go through, you know, go through everything.”