Friday, July 11, 2008

The iPhone Follies: Day One

Last year, on June 29th, my brother-in-law and I were two of millions of people across the globe caught up in iPhone fever.  We both knew the low-end $599 model was out of our league, but that didn't stop us from hovering around the local Apple  store, watching the lucky 200+ people queueing to be among the first to own one of the coveted toys.  

Fast forward 11 months and the excitement was reaching fever pitch once more.  We anxiously awaited Steve Jobs's confirmation of the rumors at MacWorld 2008 that the 2nd generation iPhone would soon be available.  Not only did he confirm that the new phone was set to launch on July 11th, but he confirmed that it would be half the price and twice as fast! Wahooooo!

So... today's the day.  Or I should say, today WAS the day.  And sadly, both my brother-in-law in MI and I in CA are going to bed iPhone-less.  

I called the various local Apple stores last night at 9pm to check on whether people were already lined up to buy the phone.  Yes, the lines were already forming.  There were 30 people at the Palo Alto location alone.  Rats.  I thought I might get up at 5am and be one of the first in line.  

I carefully scanned the online news and blogs this morning.  New Zealand started off the frenzy, followed shortly by Japan, New York - and finally 8am hit California.  Doors were opening, phones were slowly but surely being sold, and Apple's servers were hit so hard with activations that they were jamming.

I had every intention of hitting the gym this morning with Janet but the gym is so close to the Apple store that I made her do a drive-by to check the lines.  Long.  Crud.  "OK, off to the gym," she said.  I opened my eyes, wide and sad.  "Can't we please just try another store?"  Next thing I know I have her driving all over the Bay Area looking for a store with no line.  Guess what?  There isn't one.  And we never did make it to the gym.

The next chance I had to get to the stores  was after the boys went to bed.  As soon as I heard the first snore from their room, Aaron and I hopped in the car to chase down an iPhone.  Stanford Mall  Apple store:  300 deep line.  Apple wasn't allowing anyone else to queue.  Palo Alto AT&T store:  No line.  Jackpot, I thought!  I ran in.  Sold out.  New shipment arriving at 8am tomorrow.  Palo Alto Apple Store:  Line is 4 blocks long.  Apple again is stopping new people from lining up.  Police are on hand to manage the traffic.  

 Tomorrow's gotta be my day.

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