Friday, July 11, 2008
APPLE iPHONE 3G LAUNCH: 7/11/2008 !!!
My alarm was set for 5 a.m.
At 6 a.m., I headed for the Apple Store in Walnut Creek and Jim and Louie headed to the AT&T Store on Broadway Plaza. By 6:15 a.m. we determined that the line at Apple was much much longer than that at AT&T, but the party atmosphere was much better at Apple, where the store manager was working the line that went around the block, well past Barnes & Noble, and the local TV stations were set up, in hopes of getting some news worthy interviews and video clips.
Why were perfectly sane (??!!) people lining up in the early morning hours? Because...AT 8 A.M., BOTH APPLE and AT&T were opening their stores to start selling the much awaited iPhone 3G.
So, the immediate decision at 6:15 a.m. was festivity over shorter wait. Shorter wait won out and off I went to the AT&T store. Although the line at the AT&T store snaked around the back of the store by the parking garage (not very beautiful), we still managed to create our own kind of festive atmosphere.
And, the AT&T staff could not have been nicer and more friendly. They brought us planning worksheets and pens so we could have all our pertinent information ready when we bought our phones. They also came around several times with bottles of water to make sure we remained hydrated and kept cool...we're in the midst of a heat wave out here.
As with waiting in line for any special event, we made friends with our line mates...a recent high school grad with her Dad...they were in line to get an iPhone for Dad...an Air Force pilot, and an architect.
At 8 A.M, sharp, the doors opened and the first group of customers entered the store.
As we got closer in line, Jim made his last phone call on his Verizon phone...from here on in, it is AT&T all the way!
Even Louie tried to stay on his best behavior...was there a black 16 gb in there waiting for him as he joined our Family Plan? He'd need unlimited messaging too, of course!
We stayed positive as the first customers started coming out of the store, bags in hand.
And, carrying their chairs and other gear that had sustained them during their wait in line.
Once we were in the store, our sales person, Grace, efficiently created our new account. The one glitch was that the store could not activate our phones on site, as had been expect. The iTunes network was overloaded and we had to do it on our own at home.
By 8:50 a.m., we were out of the AT&T store, with two iPhones in hand.
Our new friends had their phones too...and, the about-to-be college girl and her Dad, not only bought an iPhone for Dad, they got one for her too!
From there, we headed over to check out the scene at the Apple Store...the line still snaked around the block and the crowd remained cheerful. When a group of customers entered the store, the staff cheered them loudly.
The sidewalk looked the worse for wear...from a night of Apple faithful living on the streets of Walnut Creek, but the crowd remained optimistic about snaring a 3G iPhone!
And, before I headed home to activate my iPhone, I stopped to visit with the Men of iWait.com
, the people who made it "happen" for those who did not want to camp out in front of the Apple Store for three days to be a the front of the line. These guys had been here since Wednesday...hopefully, they made enough money to buy their own iPhones!
As they relaxed under a tree and checked for their next waiting assignment, they told me that they not only wait in lines, they also are available to run errands, and to do just about any job you are willing to pay them to do.
And, one final, final note...I got interviewed by KTVU-TV when I returned to the front of the Apple Store and I and my new iPhone were on today's Noon news!