I know it’s a few days later, and honestly it’s taken me this long to recover from my tech explosion (and still trying to parent two children, etc.) but I indeed did go and wait in line on Friday and get myself an iPhone. I decided that I wasn’t totally nuts and it really wasn’t worth going and spending the night (it’s not like this is a blockbuster sci-fi film or anything like that :)), but I was willing to drive over to the line mid-morning and if it wasn’t too insane, I’d stay and get my iPhone at 6pm with the rest of the throng, but if it was just too nuts, I’d go home and order it online. I showed up at the Apple store around 11 am, and was shocked to see the line that had already formed. There were lounge chairs, blankets, pillows, sun shades, and poker tables set up at the front-end of the line, and the line wound all the way down the store fronts in the center of the mall until it reached the corner of the strip of stores, about 5 to 8 store fronts long. I was already feeling discouraged, but I decided to go in to the store and chat with the staff, and figure out if I had any chance in hell, or if I should just go home now. While in there, of course the employees couldn’t give me any verbal indication on the count of iPhones expected that day (they haven’t shown up yet, we have no idea), but I did get the non-verbal cue that I was probably fine to get in line. So, I decided to spend some money on a new printer, an AppleTV, and a new network drive for the house, and then put that stuff in the trunk of my car, and came back to sit in line. I learned that the folks at the head of the line had been there since Tuesday night, and that several were speculators on scarcity and were selling their spots in line for cash (one guy was asking $1200 for his place in line, the freak). Some had been there since Thursday night, but the bulk of the line was from earlier that morning. A quick count put me at around person 60-70, and with a two iPhone per person limit, I figured my chances were decent that they would have enough for me. I brought my work laptop and an extra battery and spent the greater part of the day coding and chatting with the folks in line, and it was amazing to hear the variance in the backgrounds of the folks waiting for their chance at the early-adopter crack killer device. There were not just geeks, but folks in their 60’s, high-schoolers, stock traders, web designers, teachers, you name it. I was part of a new cross-culture subculture, the Apple Community, those that were living the iLifestyle.
By 4pm, only two hours until the Apple store opened its doors and released the new mobile platform we all yearned for, there was far more line behind me than there was in front of me. Our numbers had swelled to probably 300 or more, and each of us were eagar but patient. We had seen many carts of boxes being hauled into the store, and a quick mental calculation put us all at ease that they had at least 1000 iphones coming into the store. We were all going to be just fine. Those at the head of the line were starting to feel a little shamed for having camped for so long, and that $1200 seat up front dropped down to $20 (which was taken by the waiter at CPK that we had the next day – small world). At 6pm, they opened the gates, and we all filed into the store 30 at a time, carefully metered by the friendly staff. It only took about 45-50 minutes from the time the store opened to the point in which I had my new toy in my hands.
I’m still learning and playing with the little guy, but the general consensus is it as cool as I had hoped it would be. Give me a week and I’ll give you the more complete review. For now, know you can reach me on my new iPhone. 🙂
You can check out photos of my adventure in line here.