Friday was the eighth time I've unboxed a new iPhone. It was also the fourth time I've stood in line with other equally deranged Apple fans, and waited patiently for the next big thing. It was the first time I was disappointed, and the first time I was frustrated.
A few days later, it still hurts to say: I didn't buy my iPhone from the Apple Store.
- I am a certified Apple fanboy, and in no way is this my way of dissing the company, just an honest account of my experience
- My experience may have been characteristic to this one store, this one year
- As always, the employees were enthusiastic, friendly, and supportive
- The iPhone 6 is a great phone and this is nothing against that phone
It happened like clockwork. The alarm went off at 4:30, and the group message, named "Team iPhone 6" (thanks iOS 8 for that feature) was already active. By 5:10, the four of us left campus in the quest of 2 iPhone 6's, and 1 iPhone 6 Plus (one came along for moral support, more about him later).
- Culture. There's a certain camaraderie when over a hundred Apple fans are waiting in line together for the release of a new product. A diverse demographic discussing everything from the first iPhone to OS X Yosemite. You could call us the crazy ones,
the misfits, the rebels, the trouble makers, but it's a surprisingly fun experience
- Food. We were going to be there for a few hours and Apple provides Starbucks Coffee, pastries, fruit, snacks, and bottled water
- We didn't actually all have the same carrier.
- Past Experience. Last year, we left the Apple Store before 9:30, which was more than reasonable
- The employees. Between doing the wave, being otherwise peppy, and just knowing the products quite well, it makes the entire experience different
Our first issue, was the vast number of people...who weren't buying iPhone's. While it's grown in frequency over the years, we estimated between 50-75 "line-sitters." These people came in sleeping bags and even tents, and switched spots for much more business-formal-dressed people, just before 7:00.
We arrive back on campus, frustrated, annoyed, exhausted, but excited for our new phones.
All in all, the experience was a wild one. Over 10 Million iPhone's were sold this weekend. Apple was personally selling AT&T Next and Verizon Edge plans, which slowed the process significantly, and may have been part of the reason why our wait was so long as compared to previous years.
We've already decided, for the Apple Watch, we're just going to go the day before. Though, our "Team Apple Watch" has already dwindled down. For those wondering, I was able to reschedule that exam.