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Apple likely expected a bigger crowd forming at its South by Southwest 2011 popup store in downtown Austin today.

As of 8AM Central this morning, only one man stood faithfully in line for the iPad 2: “Sweet” John Muehlbauer, an event planner at Austin-based Revolving Events. According to his Twitter feed, he’s been waiting in line by himself since 6:30AM Central.

VentureBeat executive editor Owen Thomas spoke to Muehlbauer this morning: “Honestly, I thought there would be more people here,” he said. “But now I’m committed.” The Apple popup store, which was put together to attract attendees of the South by Southwest Interactive festival running today and tomorrow, will open at 5PM Central.

Plans for the store came together quickly this week, according to the Austin-American Statesman. An Apple representative contacted an Austin real estate firm on Monday to confirm the location. Apple already has permanent stores in Southwest and North Austin, but not in Downtown Austin.

Of course, Muehlbauer won’t be the only person waiting in line for long. But you can bet the technology press will be paying keen attention to lines for the iPad 2, since huge crowds didn’t appear for the Verizon iPhone’s launch.

Update: Muehlbauer tells us that three other people have joined him in line.

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