IPad 2, the second generation of Apple Inc.'s popular tablet computer, goes on sale for the first time in Canada on Friday.

Eager buyers were lining up outside Apple retail locations across the country as early as Thursday.

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Eager customers lined up outside a Toronto Apple store to buy iPads more than a day before they were to be available. (Tony Smyth/CBC)

Apple started selling the newer version of its tablet computer in the United States earlier this month. It goes on sale in Canada, starting at 5 p.m. ET, and more than two dozen other international markets on Friday.

The massively popular devices start at $519 and top out at $849, depending on the model.

About a million of the devices were sold on the first day in the U.S. launch on March 11. The first version sold 500,000  units in the first week and crossed the one million unit mark in under a month.

Worldwide, the company sold more than 15 million of the devices in 2010, much more than analysts had expected.

Those who couldn't stand to bear the long lineups may have to wait awhile to buy an iPad 2 if retail stores end up selling out.

On Apple.ca, availability for all models of the iPad 2 is listed at three to four weeks.