12 July 2008

My Quest for iPhone 3G: Parts I & II

I decided about 2 months ago that I was going to leave Nextel and buy an iPhone from its only service provider, AT&T. I have been waiting for yesterday's release date for a while now, which has come and passed, and I still have no iPhone.

I waited in line both yesterday and today. I did not wait overnight, but others did. I drove by my AT&T store on Westnedge Ave on Thursday night and there were about 25 people in line at 11:30 PM.

I arrived yesterday morning at 7:40 AM; the store opened at 8:00. The line began moving even before the store opened because everyone was bunching up at the entrance in anticipation of the release. Remember, this is the third most important release of a phone ever. Third to the initial release of iPhone in 2007, and the release of Alexander Graham Bell's invention in 1876.

After the doors opened, the line didn't seem to move very fast at all. I couldn't see in the store, so I had no idea what the story was in there. Every 10 to 15 minutes, the line would move about 10 feet or so. I didn't have much hope at this point of getting my iPhone.

At about 8:40, an AT&T salesman came out to address the crowd. He said, "Everyone past this point may want to reconsider waiting." The point in the line he was referring to was a long way ahead of me. I figure the Portage AT&T store had approximately 40 iPhones for the first day.

I went home.

Friday night, I went back to check and see if a line was forming again. I thought that surely no one would be waiting over night on the second night, but sure enough, there were about 10 people waiting at 10:00 PM or so.

Saturday morning, I got up at 8:30 and started making my way towards the AT&T store. They open at 9:00 AM on Saturdays. I arrived about 10 minutes after 9:00, and was much further up in the line than yesterday. I was about 75 people back. This time, I could see in the store, and there were 5 salespeople working the activations.

Again, I waited. Again, they came out about 40 minutes after the store opened. Again, I was snuffed. I think they had about 40 phones for the second day too.

An interesting, but not surprising thing happened today during the mass activations. When the salesman came out to announce the day's availability, he mentioned that there was a problem with the system, and about 20,000 activations had been backlogged in Michigan. The war room in Texas was being utilized, but there were no indications of how long it would take to clear up the problem.

I went home again.

I watched some more iPhone videos today, which only made me want it more. I'll try again tomorrow. They open at 11:00 AM.

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