I finally got out of work today around 3:45. The past two weeks have been 12-18 hour days, it was good to escape…especially because I had succumbed to the hype and decided to treat myself to the a new geek toy. The iPhone was to be mine.
The long story is included below. The short story is I got one, activation went flawlessly, my existing number has been ported and I love it! Indeed, I’m writing this post from my iPhone while sitting on the couch.
Now the long story…minutes after I left work, I found myself at the Southdale Apple Store. I joined the queue at 4pm, maybe 75 people back. Made friends with the line members next to me and lost myself in a few games of Soduku to pass the time (some of the last ones I’d play on my old cell phone). Apple employees walked the line, distributing water and coffee for refreshments, a nice touch. Around 5:30, the window coverings were removed from the Apple Store and we got our first glimpse inside the store. By now, the line had grown to 125 or 150.
At 10 seconds to 6:00, as indicated by a giant iPhone in the window of the store, the entire crowd counted down 10…9…8…7…6…5…4…3…2…1! The door began to open and the queue slowly moved forward. About 3 minutes later, the first few new iPhone owners emerged, all making a bee-line for the nearest exit. (Nothing worse than buying a geek toy and not being able to use it until you connect it to your computer and activate it!)
I finally was admitted to the store around 6:20. Within a minute, the iPhone transaction was completed. The store staff was really on the ball, moving you from the line directly to the main counter then onto purchase and payment within 2-3 minutes. After finishing the iPhone purchase, there was an out-of-the-way location set aside with the various accessories on sale, I picked up a dock insert for my iPhone and tracked down one of the roaming wireless credit card salespeople that Apple Stores roll out on busy days. Swipe, sign, and by 6:31 I’m out the door, heading out to my car.
Right as I’m walking out the door, one of the Apple workers who was managing the line shouted out, “We’re finished!” All the workers let out a small cheer - the announcement indicated the entire queued line had been processed. A half hour, 200 or so people. I’d say half of the people bought one iPhone, with the other half buying two iPhones. At $500 or so each, that means that Southdale alone brought in $150,000 in a half-hour. Nice!