The local Cingular store closed today at 5:00 p.m. in preparation of selling the iPhone starting at 6:00 p.m. I’m told that the first person arrived to start the line at 5:30 a.m. By about 12:30 p.m. there were 20 or so people in line. By 5:00 when Matt arrived to start holding my place in line, there were about 45 people in line ahead of us. Some of those were just waiting with some one else who planned to buy a phone, while some of those may have been wanting to buy more than one phone. A salesperson was putting wrist bands on customers waiting in line. By 6 o’clock, when the doors opened, there were perhaps 20 to 25 more people waiting behind me.
Most of the people in line looked younger than me. Substantially younger. While there were a few seniors, the crowd consisted mostly of college students and 20-somethings, I think. I fancied that many were graphic artists and worked in marketing jobs.
Two TV stations were present, filming and interviewing some of those waiting. Alas, my opinion was not solicited.
At 6:47, the 8 GB models sold out. At 7:20, the 4 GB models sold out. I made it into the store at 7:25.
So, if I’d arrived to wait perhaps 15 minutes sooner, I could have purchased a 4GB model. For my work purposes, a 4 GB model would have been sufficient, I’m sure. To buy the 8 GB model (for an additional $100), the salesman thought that it would have been necessary to be in line by 2:00. I’m not confident of that estimate, but it’s as good a guess as any.
When we’d received our wristband, we’d been told that if they ran out, we could place a direct order and that the iPhone would arrive on Monday for no additional shipping charges. However, by the time the iPhone stock had run out, the salesmen were being more careful with the promises that they were making. Instead, we were told that since we’d waited in line, we had priority over all of the Internet orders and that ours would be shipped to us even prior to new iPhones being shipped to the retail stores. The salespeople thought that was possible that the iPhone would arrive on Monday, but if not, surely sometime next week.