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June 19, 2009

I waited three-plus hours for my new iPhone

Posted: 07:57 AM ET

So I arrived at my chosen Atlanta-area Apple store about 30 minutes after its early 7 a.m. opening. There are two lines here: one for people like me who preordered their phone online, and one for those who didn't.

The reservation line stretches around a corner - far enough that I can't see the actual store front. The other line is reportedly shorter, but moving much slower, and a store employee tells us that the bulk of their "specialists" are working this line.

One cool thing: They have a little cart going around with snacks and drinks.

UPDATE: Now there is some confusion over whether I actually have a reservation for a new phone, as I didn't receive a reminder e-mail with the store's name. But I did call a friend several days ago who works at this store, and who conformed that I'm on the list for a 32-gig black iPhone 3GS.

UPDATE 2: Security came up and split the line - making it wrap backwards around a railing - to keep us pre-orderers from interfering with a nearby, yet-to-open kiosk.

UPDATE 3, 9 a.m. ET: An Apple Store employee is carrying around a 3GS for people in line to fondle. The application response time is very fast. The camera app launched quickly, without the lag that seems to plague my 3G, and switched to video mode seamlessly. The auto focus is so cool. Simply touch the screen on what you want to focus on, and a small white box appears around your finger.

The snack cart continues to make the rounds. And I'd guess there are at least 70 people on front of me. Looks like I'll be awhile.

UPDATE 4, 9:40 a.m. ET: I can just make out the faint Apple logo on the front of the store from my place in line.

UPDATE 5, 9:55 a.m. ET: Probably 30 people still in front of me. People are grumbling that they should have just got in the shorter, no-reservation line.

UPDATE 6, 10:45 a.m. ET: An Apple "specialist" in a blue shirt has come to take me to my new iPhone!! I can't wait to get my grubby hands on it. We'll soon know how good that screen coating is at keeping fingerprints at bay.

FINAL UPDATE, 11:30 a.m. ET: I got my phone! And I only had to wait in line for about three and a half hours - which might sound like alot, but last year I waited something like seven, and there was no snack cart. The mood in the line was getting a bit cranky after awhile but quickly improved as we neared the store.

Once I entered the store a nice man named Phil escorted me around, helped me find the accessories I wanted (Contour Hardskin, just like I have on the 3G - though I might get a blue one later - and a matte screen protector), and then we started the activation process.

The activation process took about 10 minutes because there were lots of little steps. The store employee put in my account info, we waited for it to download, I agreed to some terms and waited for it to update. Then my total came up. I handed him a credit card and it came back slightly melted because I refused to wait till December for my new toy. Then he unwrapped the new phone, plugged it into iTunes and, surprisingly quickly, I was ready to go.

I used my new phone to shoot some video of the line as I walked out. Some people laughed and others jeered as they thought I was flaunting my new toy.

Now I'm going to sit in the mall's food court and sync the new phone so it has all my stuff (it already has some contacts, because I quickly set up my Mobile Me e-mail and other services).

I will say this: I got my new iPhone before a friend who had hers shipped to her home. She's stuck in meetings and missed the UPS guy. Shoulda shipped it to work :-)

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Gregory   June 19th, 2009 1:50 pm ET

Shoulda shipped it to work? Nice concept – except thats what I did and the phone supposedly arrived at 9:09 AM (according to UPS) but no one at my work signed for it or received it – I'm lost in talks with UPS right now trying to get ahold of the driver and figure out where it went.


Amanda   June 19th, 2009 1:55 pm ET

WARNING – Don't think that you'll be able to port your phone number if you are signing up for a new AT&T contract today for a new iPhone. After an hour waiting while the Apple Store rep was on the phone with AT&T support (after three hours in line), Apple Store rep recommended I just get a new number and try to port my old number "later". Nearly everyone I spoke to while waiting was having the same problem, with multiple carriers. Apple rep admitted that they'd had the same problem all morning. AT&T support was abysmal. Overall, a very frustrating, very unsatisfactory experience with AT&T (Apple of course was very helpful and polite). There's no excuse for these types of problems when AT&T knows the date of the product launch. It's time for Apple to work with a more reputable service provider to build capability into a reliable service network and end the exclusivity agreement.


Conservative Independent   June 19th, 2009 2:23 pm ET

Mine's coming on Monday with my wife ready to sign the delivery slip. I'm disappointed I don't get to play today, but confident my activation experience will go faster as I sit in the comfort of my own home.


John White   June 19th, 2009 3:47 pm ET

I got my iphone today and returned it within 5 hours, it is the worse phone i have ever had! horrible reception, really disappointing.


landon kelsey   June 19th, 2009 3:48 pm ET

what in the hell is all this fuss about?

I wouldn't have such a device even if they paid me.

Status symbols especially for non white peoples.

Look cool/be a big shot talking on your device and looking to see who is watching

Many are proud of their devices/cell phone.

I hate mine and when the contract is over next month, smash!


Casey   June 19th, 2009 3:49 pm ET

It looks like you were at the Mall of Ga store. I left the MOG location at 7am and went across the street to Cingular. I had my phone with NO RESERVATION by 9:30am :)

The phone is really great. I love it.


paul   June 19th, 2009 3:49 pm ET

Arrived at the NY Fifth Ave. store a little before 8am and had pre-ordered online. It looked like they anticipated larger crowds. Maybe 60 people ahead of me. I was in the store in after about 35 minutes and out again with the iPhone 10 minutes later. Could not have been easier. Very organized, very efficient, very Apple.


buh bye Verizon   June 19th, 2009 3:52 pm ET

I had my number "ported" at a local ATT store and I had no problems, they were fast and friendly. They didnt have all the accesories i needed but was to be expected. The wait was 2 hours but well worth it.


Andrew   June 19th, 2009 4:04 pm ET

Looks like Lenox Mall. I waited over 14 hours for my 3G there last year.


matthew   June 19th, 2009 4:11 pm ET

well the porting process was held up by the 3rd party company who does all the pporting for att and all other carriers, the reason the process is taking so long is because 3 million people are porting today. oh and its a phone get over it


rashi   June 19th, 2009 4:13 pm ET

I ordered mine last week and it came to my house 2:00pm as scheduled :)


t-can   June 19th, 2009 4:17 pm ET

I just went to an ATT store here in Nashville. Took 5 minutes to get the phone. I went a few blocks up the road to the Apple store to try to by a new case (the att store has poor selection) and the line was about an hour and a half. Apple Store employees were not pleased when I announced the shorter wait at ATT.


Rajesh   June 19th, 2009 4:23 pm ET

Drove by the local AT&T store (Chicago suburb) this morning at around 8:15 AM, just to see how long the line(s) were going to be. To my surprise, I noticed not a single person waiting outside the store, even though it was already open (store opens regularly at 10 AM). So, I walked into the store, and there were about 10-12 sales people just hanging out, with maybe 1 or 2 customers. Figuring the gold rush was already over, I casually asked if they had any 3GS's left – and surprisingly they had several, in both 16GB and 32GB models. 40 minutes later, I walked out of the store, having purchased my brand new 16GB 3GS and having ported over my phone number from my prior carrier. The only downside – they didn't have the 16GB available in white, which was the color I wanted. All in all, a terrific buying experience.


Eric   June 19th, 2009 4:25 pm ET

I guess AT&T in St. Cloud, Minnesota, would have been a better place to go. I pre-ordered my 3GS, but when I got there this morning before the store opened (as they were opening the store early for pre-orders) there was surprisingly not one person in the roped-off area that the workers had prepared for.


Stacy   June 19th, 2009 4:26 pm ET

I stayed home and signed for my phone at 10:20 a.m. No hassles, no waiting in line. Bliss- well that is until I tried to activate the phone. It appears as though either Apple or AT&T didn't have the common sense to expect all the new iPhones to be activated today. I have been told that it will take up to 48 to activate. According to iTunes, I'll receive an e-mail when they are ready to activate my phone. Problem is, I won't be able to get that on my phone since I have no service. I would have been better off missing the UPS delivery and keeping my old phone for the weekend, because, as it is, all I can do is look at my new iPhone instead of use it!


J Add   June 19th, 2009 4:39 pm ET

When they make them in the USA. Is when I'll buy one!


ender   June 19th, 2009 4:40 pm ET

E-gad!!!

Im not sure why anyone would jump on a new technology so quickly as bugs and such will be problems. But to wait in line for three hours seems borderline fanatical.

I'm not trying to cut anyone down here or pretend I'm somehow better or anything like that.

It just puzzels me is all.


SCY   June 19th, 2009 4:47 pm ET

While on my way to the drug store I passed an ATT store (also in Atlanta) around 8:30 AM it was open so I went in asked for a 32 GB iPhone in Black and walked out with in activated about 15 minutes later, then on to the drug store to pick up a prescription...no three hour foolishness for me


jeffgtr   June 19th, 2009 4:52 pm ET

My sons 3GS was delivered today. Activation was flawless (we're already on AT&T). I have a 1st gen Iphone and had planned on just waiting another year before upgrading, but good grief the picture quality and video is excellent (for a phone) on the 3GS and it is much faster. The GPS works surprisingly well. It looks like I may be making a trip to the Apple store Sunday and upgrading.


Steve K.   June 19th, 2009 4:56 pm ET

No mention of price for this "toy." I don't like it when my cell phone rings, I just want the minimum service, and for people to leave me alone.


Penny M.   June 19th, 2009 4:56 pm ET

Walked into AT&T store around 9:30a.m. Not a single customer in sight; only six AT&T reps twiddling their thumbs. Canceled my iPhone order (had ordered it on the 14th and it hadn't shipped yet), switched my son (he was getting my "old" 3G) over from Verzion, added an additional line, and an hour later walked out with my band spanking new iPhone 3GS.
It could have not been any easier. :o)

It could have not been any easier!


mfato   June 19th, 2009 5:03 pm ET

I just dont get you all..why cant you pick up your phone on another day when there are no lines??? someone please explain this me..


Mike   June 19th, 2009 5:23 pm ET

good grief...just get a $99 3G and upgrade the OS to 3.0. You really need to ask yourself if you need the camera to shoot full-motion video and the couple of "nice to haves but will never use" features.


Jake   June 19th, 2009 5:26 pm ET

I find humor in the negative comments. Are people not allowed to buy what they want with money they work for? It's cute and all that some of you have nothing positive to say, but the iphone is an innovative device. I used to be a solid microsoft fanboy until I made the mistake of buying an LG Vu. That phone was garbage. I shortly thereafter upgraded to an iphone and will never look back. I'm going to hold off a bit on the 3G S until my contract is ready for renewal, but I WILL be purchasing one. I'll make sure to give my current 3G to someone as a gift who will apreciate the advanced technology all of the "iphone killer" competition has thus far failed to get a grasp of. The rest of you can continue being bitter and angry with your motorolla razor phones that even a caveman can use : D

The iPhone was created by Jesus Himself.

Good day!


David   June 19th, 2009 5:27 pm ET

Still in the day of age, gown adults cry like babies when it comes to electronic gadgets. If you cant wait for a new phone, stop yapping about it. Next month the next toy will come out and you'll cry about that one too. GOOD GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


SCY   June 19th, 2009 5:27 pm ET

"J Add," I guess you will never own a cell phone of any type since NONE are made here in the US. RIM a Canadian company manufacture their devices abroad, Motorola and Apple both American do as well. Nokia and Ericsson are European and their products aren't made in Europe and you know what that Chevy or Ford you're driving was probably made in Mexico, while that Toyota was made here in the US..its called the global economy, its been going on for a few decades now...


Mike   June 19th, 2009 5:27 pm ET

I don't see what all the fuss is. I arrived at the AT&T store at 6:40 (opened at 7:00), was out the door with two 32GB upgrades (from original iPhones) by 7:50. Why would anyone wait 3 or 5 or 8 hours in line for something?


Fraggy   June 19th, 2009 5:31 pm ET

was in and out of best buy with my new iphone in 10 minutes...phone number intact. who would spend 3 and 4 hours in line for a phone? y'all are crazy!


Craig   June 19th, 2009 5:33 pm ET

I agree with the comment about making it in the US. Hey Apple!! You already have a customer base that will buy your stuff because they think Apple is so kool, It's already overpriced and your customers still line up for it because it is an Apple (you are selling PCs with a different operating system at this point). How much would making things in the US add to the price? If you made the stuff in the US and gave some of my fellow citizens decent jobs I might think your stuff was kool also. I might even buy something.


Gil   June 19th, 2009 5:36 pm ET

OH...YOU POOR BABY!!!!!


obamamama   June 19th, 2009 5:39 pm ET

Sucker born every day...


ChanS   June 19th, 2009 5:41 pm ET

iPhone can be a great fathers day gift. While standing in line is exciting – how about winning the iphone 3GS by including #trackle or #squarespace in all your tweets. There are several iphone giveaways going on right now and folks are winning


dkerr24   June 19th, 2009 5:44 pm ET

Not sure I understand why anyone would stand in line for 3 hours just to get a 3GS on the first day it is available. I think I'd find something more constructive to do with my time.

Especially when they will be widely available and most likely at a discounted price within 90 days.


dg   June 19th, 2009 5:46 pm ET

I went to the Apple store in Columbus, OH. I saw a line of over 50 outside of the store, which was jam packed at 10 a.m. I calmly turned around, drove to the AT&T store across the street, and purchased a 32 GB iPhone 3GS in 10 minutes no line. I drove past the Apple store, bag hanging out the window, told the 50 plus people outside the store that unless they really want an Apple bag and receipt, they might want to go to AT&T.


brandon   June 19th, 2009 6:04 pm ET

Who cares about the stupid iphone...omg i got a cell phone that does a bunch of crap i dont need..cnn and the media just love hangn on jon and kate and all this crap...i just dont get why people like hearing and reading about this non sense over and over everyday.


Patience   June 19th, 2009 6:42 pm ET

All you you people that rushed to the store and bought one, that is really lame. You remind me of the rush back in the day for Cabbage Patch kids. At least nobody got trampled. I laugh at the fools that paid 350.00 + waited in line all day for the first release of that phone for the first phone... Apple really loves you. And now you are forking out another two or three hundred dollars. Order it online and wait a week, you may loose your chance to be Mr. Trendy, but you won't waste time or money.


Garmac   June 19th, 2009 6:53 pm ET

Darn,

I waited no more than 15 minutes to get my phone in downton DC at around 9:15am... there was only like 5 people in front of me...


slavster   June 19th, 2009 7:13 pm ET

I owe and enjoy a number of Apple products but this sounds so... pathetic:

"I got my phone! And I only had to wait in line for about three and a half hours — which might sound like alot, but last year I waited something like seven, and there was no snack cart."


Songpol   June 19th, 2009 7:36 pm ET

Oh man!!! You are really patient and work up to get this new baby. I thought this gonna happen so I just ordered it online last Wednesday to ship right to my desk at office and I got it today around 10:00AM.

Pretty much the same time as you, huh??? (It's 3 hours later than you though since I live in west coast).


AR   June 19th, 2009 7:47 pm ET

All those people who make such a point about how they don't care and such...well some people actually do...how does that affect you or the price of milk...you obviously care enough to read the article and go through the trouble to comment...save your time for something you actually do care about.


Steve   June 19th, 2009 7:59 pm ET

Why didn't you just have it shipped? I received mine today (fortunately work from home) and enjoyed not waiting in line!


Mark R   June 19th, 2009 11:01 pm ET

I have a G1 and some same update were added to my phone few weeks from HTC/ Google.....I really do feel both phone are great
Apple Iphone & G1

PS. Their something special about G1 HTC/Google....


BeachBum   June 20th, 2009 12:12 am ET

The IPhone is a tool. If you are in business and you use tools for success then it's one you want in your bag.It's not about the price but the ROI for any tool and/or technology. The question is can you find a place to use this tool for a competitive advantage in your life.

I see some companies with 10 people doing the job of one because they bought a cheaper technology but have awful customer service and support so they spend a fortune on human resources instead of a blend of both.

I have made 10x-100x what the phone cost me and it allows me to run a lean and mean operation. All the useless idle time I have can be converted into emails, web research and audiobook learning.

I can be in airports, golf courses, bars or anywhere and still respond to customers and when you work globally with clients that is very important.

I can be anywhere and reply to customers immediately and take care of any business issues as they arise.

You wouldn't dig a pool with a tea spoon unless you were billing by the hour or you owned a global CONsulting company.


Captain Quinn   June 20th, 2009 1:45 am ET

This movie would have been better with a shark.


technology department   June 20th, 2009 2:03 am ET

dont worry folks, your investment will be obsolete by 3rd quarter.


Bryan   June 20th, 2009 4:36 am ET

Just a few things: Apple is not overpriced, you get what you pay for. Apple has been making computers and gadgets for a very, VERY long time. They know what they are doing. If you think their stuff is overpriced, just don't buy it... I think it's funny how you people come on here and complain about it.. Can you just not afford it? I use mac computers, ipods, and iphones and can afford them just fine on a 30k/year military salary... You people should be ashamed of yourselves for being so contradicting.

iPhones.. are AMAZING. There are tons of apps.. I have at least 20 on my phone that I use weekly and honestly I don't know how I ever got along without them. They make life so much easier. Sadly, I didn't get my upgrade today, but I will soon :)


David   June 20th, 2009 6:00 pm ET

Surprisingly just as the new iPhones went on sale my blackberry and a friends also went suddently dead. We called for help and they said we'd have to go to the store where they are selling the new iPhones to get our blackberry to work again. (coincidence?)


Benedict S   June 21st, 2009 12:11 am ET

Woopie doo, the new iphone is out. The only thing that really catches my eye is the 32 gb space. That the only good thing about it. I have a G1 and even though it was late off the starting blocks, especially with the 1.5 update, there are things that I have the ability to do which the iphone now finally has. I was already using a video camera and copy and paste before the 3gs came out. Maybe apple should push these updates before their competition.


slappy   June 21st, 2009 1:15 am ET

Wow, the jealous haters are out in force today. :-)


James   June 21st, 2009 2:26 am ET

You can go to http://www.bing.com, search for "ATT WIRELESS", and click on the first sponsored link for 35% off your shiny new iPhone. Yes, that's Thirty-Five Percent OFF.

Kind of shocked that Microsoft would be THIS nice to iPhone customers...


Gary   June 21st, 2009 7:22 pm ET

Went to the local Best Buy, walked out as the line did not move for 15 minutes. Went to the AT&T store and walked out with a 3GS in about 45 minutes. Did not preorder one.


Juan Guapo   June 21st, 2009 10:47 pm ET

@Cody: 3 hours is nothing.

When the iPhone 3G came out (7/11/2008), my wife and I waited in line for 8 full hours to get our hands on it; we arrived at 11:30am and entered the store at just after 7:30am.

Viva la iPhone!


Chris   June 22nd, 2009 2:41 am ET

Not a jealous hater, but I have no need to keep up with the Jones. Goes to show that the problem with America today is materialism. To those of you who wait 3+ hours for a phone, that is 3+ hours you will never get back.


Jack M   June 22nd, 2009 5:00 am ET

I'll be getting mine in a few weeks.

To the people that don't get it. I don't get it why you come on a comments section and piss and moan about "not getting it".

I'm not a fan of Apple by any means, but this is the best phone I've ever used. Very clear, very clean. Zoom in (great for us with poor vision), accessibility features as well.

The video is a bonus, but I don't need it. I want it for the extra speed, and more storage (I can now fit most of my MP3 library on it). Also, with the App Store, you can download games like Space Ace and Wolfenstein (Doom coming soon). It's an MP3 player, browser, email client, phone, and portable gaming device.


Kym in Naples   June 22nd, 2009 2:01 pm ET

I purchased the Samsung Blackjack II last year, because I found the iPhone G1 SW very 'clunky'. I found this out while setting up the iPhone for my boss and was VERY glad I had not purchased it.
My current contract expires in July and I will compare the Samsung Jack to the iPhone 3G S and I will choose based on quality of the performance, not 'coolness' of the toys.
I will say, though, the Blackjack II has survived being dropped on concrete, tile, wood and granite, it has even been baptized... I highly doubt the iPhone would be able to handle my 'handling'.... It gives me pause.


KB - Arlington, TX   June 24th, 2009 4:51 pm ET

I preordered my 32gb black model from AT&T and 3rd party cords/cases from ebay a week before. I arrived at the store at 7am and was back in my car by 7:30. No hassle, no fuss, no expensive AT&T accesories. The key was a little thinking ahead and to pick a store that wasn't in a crowded shopping area.


Doug   June 24th, 2009 5:43 pm ET

Cody!
Scoutman and I are driving the Blue Ridge Parkway between the Daytona races the 4th of July and my nieces' wedding the following weekend. 'Wanna see a '79 Scout that looks like it should?


Gary B.   June 25th, 2009 5:14 pm ET

I was at that same exact store...got in line around 10 am...I had "reserved" my Iphone so was in the reserved line....finally got into the store at 12 noon...so 2 hour wait for me....not to bad !


Larry England   June 25th, 2009 5:45 pm ET

I feel sorry for all the people who just brought the New Iphone, but does not like At&t because I found out that Next year they will be coming out with an IPhone for Verizon. So I am waiting for that phone to come out. Feel sorry for all the suckers who brought the At&t version.


Sarita25   November 25th, 2011 6:25 am ET

IPhone is very different from working on the desktop. Commands are executed in the operation in a specific way on the iPhone. If your application does not meet the requirements of the iPhone then return fire resulting in lost time, money and resources.The user interface is very different because the content on the iPhone can only be accessed with the help of the fingers. The screen size is quite limited. There is a very limited help to the user.
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Rosenda Holowell   May 21st, 2013 4:07 pm ET

The iPhone 5 is a touchscreen-based smartphone developed by Apple Inc.. It is the sixth generation of the iPhone and succeeds the iPhone 4S. The phone is a slimmer, lighter model that introduces a higher-resolution, 4-inch screen to the series with 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio. The phone also includes a custom-designed ARMv7 processor called the Apple A6, an update to Apple's mobile operating system known as iOS 6, and support for LTE.:-`-

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