So… I’ve been in line for an iPhone since a little after 11am. There are two spots here in Killeen selling iPhones. I drove to one and asked how they were handling things. They directed me to where the line would begin outside. No waiting for iPhones inside, which of course makes sense since they’ll be closing at 4:30 to get ready to re-open at 6. There was no one in line when I came by then, so I left, filled my gas tank, got lunch, and stopped at my mom’s to work with Helen via Google Docs & Spreadsheets on our article for the School Library Journal. Then it was off again to the AT&T store. At this point there were three people in line. I’m number four. It is just after 4pm and my arms are sunburned, when I take my fliptops off it still looks like I’m wearing them. I was smart enough to bring a camp chair and my mom and my friend, Frank, have both brought me water and other drinks. There are now about 12 people in line. Just 12. Which means I was way early getting in line but I just couldn’t risk too many people getting here before I could. And there’s a bit of satisfaction knowing that I’m going to be fourth in Killeen, Texas to get an iPhone. Well… maybe more like eighth since there are two locations here.
First in line is a guy that the next three in line, including myself, are blaming for us being here as early as we were. Why did he get in line when no one was here yet? It was because we saw someone in line that the rest of us stopped! It’s all in fun, but of course there’s some truth to that. I’m not sure his phone status – whether or not he’s already an AT&T customer. The next guy in line came prepared with laptop, camp chair, book and drink. A lady I assume is his wife and two children I assume are his came to wait with him after some time. They brought and shared water. The boys are cute – playing music on their iPod – not my taste but it’s nice to hear some music – and they’re SO fun to watch. The younger one is maybe five but probably four and he’s doing some kind of martial arts… dance? Moves? Very adorable. If he were my kid I’d go over and kiss his cheek just to embarrass him. This guy and his wife(?) are switching from Verizon. They’re apparently a little concerned because the AT&T people said they are just selling us the phone and we’re going home to activate it with iTunes. But they’re switching service and want to keep their phone number.
Next in line is Mr. Unprepared. I’m not sure what town he came from, but I think he came to Killeen figuring there’d be less people there for the phone. But he thought he’d get to go home and get a chair and water and a book… but no. Well, he did have a book, but other than that, he’s relying on others for water. I had Frank bring an extra chair so Mr. Unprepared isn’t sitting on the ground now. If Mr. Have to be First hadn’t gotten in line when he did, Mr. Unprepared would have been able to be prepared. He’s switching services, too. He’s coming from T-Mobile. What… no, he did that a long time ago. He’s now a current AT&T customer.
Then there’s me. In my capris which I’ve discovered is way too much fabric for the heat and direct sunlight. I have a farmer’s… burn. It’s not going to feel too good tomorrow. I was fourth and last for a VERY long time, making me wish I’d gone back to Mom’s for a little while longer to sit in the A/C. I’m already with AT&T so I’m assuming my purchase of the iPhone will go pretty smoothly.
Behind me is a social lady who goes to sit in the shade a lot. She’s smart. I should do that. Behind her is a women seven months pregnant in line for her husband. She doesn’t even want the phone – or want him to get it. Wow. that’s love. To hubby’s credit, he thought she’d just be holding his place for awhile, but he had to go back to work. And he did bring her a chair.
A few people back from the pregnant lady is my babysitter’s boyfriend. He’s standing in line for my mother who can’t get here for a little while. Mom is paying him $5 an hour to hold her place. I think he’s mostly doing it as a favor. And he brought a friend.
We’ve had a few hecklers while sitting out here. “What are you out here in line for? Oh, the iPhone? Ha ha ha ha ha!” or my personal favorite, “I guarantee you my phone will call the same people that phone will.” Yeah, okay, buddy. Move along, move along. Our core four at the front of the line (which includes No. 2′s wife) were making jokes among ourselves about not speaking our thought bubbles. And that it wasn’t worth losing our place in line to deal with them.
And speaking of losing places in line… a few of us joked about passing out from the heat and everyone agreed we’d call from help, but you’d SO lose your place. A pack of hyenas, we are.
Update: 4:22pm and they line has nearly doubled. Wow. The new people don’t have chairs nor water, but I guess they’re only going to be here an hour and a half. I’m actually starting to get antsy and excited about getting the phone. I’ve been waiting for this phone since the announcement of it way back whenever. And I’ve been excited all along. But right now, right this second, it’s like I’m seven and getting to open my Christmas present and I already know it’s something I’ve wanted desperately for a very long time. I’ve been teased a bit by our core four for having hired a babysitter and putting one of my kids in daycare. I tried to explain that really this makes me a better mother, no? I mean, I don’t have my kids here *with* me, right? Because either way, I’d be in this line!
It’s still pretty hot out here, but finally we’re about to be in the shadow of the building. The lack of wireless connection is making me twitch a bit. My current cellphone, a RAZR, is revolting at being replaced. The battery is running down very fast and it’s shutting down for no apparent reason. So I can’t reliably check mail from it.
The store is closed now and a few people have come by to pay their bills or get some other kind of service and have been locked out, much to their surprise. Except for this last guy just now they’ve all been pretty darned angry. One women gestured at the store hours posted on the door as if that would make someone come let her in. Riiiight. One women actually said, “F- the iPod!” Well, we only forgave her because she is obviously ignorant to say “iPod” but we did all give her quite the stare. Don’t curse something we’ve been in line for for 5 hours, lady. As she drove away, she stopped the car, rolled down her window and said, “You know there’s going to be a new one in another year.” Poor thing got no reaction. Everyone this dedicated to being the first at getting this phone knows the risk and likelihood of something better, bigger, cheaper coming out soon afterwards. We’re okay with that. We laughed as she drove away because you could tell the response she got – none – was not what she was expecting.
We’ve been told that there will be 13 sales associates from 6pm to midnight so we’re hoping that means at least 13 iPhones. I said I only cared that there were four, but my mother, back further in line – she’s replaced her placeholders now – explained that if she didn’t get an iPhone she was getting mine. Nevermind that I’m an adult – she’s still the mother! But 13 phones will be plenty for me to be happy. We watched a UPS driver pull up and all half thought he was bringing in the iPhones. When he came in with one small box, we decided we’d have to riot if he was really bringing in the iPhones.
The line is curving around the building now. I think there are about 30 people behind me but I’m not sure if people are here together or separate.
That part about being in the shadow of the building? I couldn’t figure out why the people in front of me are now all nicely shaded, but my back is still burning and I have a hard glare on the laptop. I finally looked back and because of the shape of the building, I’m still in the sun! Maybe the fact that I’ve been sharing water and chairs will let people keep my place in line if I pass out. I exaggerate of course. It’s hot, my nose is sunburned, but it’s not heat exhaustion hot. But it is boring waiting. Particularly without Internet access.
5:05pm. In less than an hour, I may be holding an iPhone. Supposedly they’re getting the demos ready in there. I don’t care to see the demo. Just sign me up! Oh! Oh! Someone is coming out to talk to us! One iPhone per person. Only 15 people will be allowed in the store at a time. They’re taking names and stuff. I’m going to put my chair in the car and get ready! I’m probably going to shut this down now…. Next update should be with iPhone in hand…
[Update: Just after closing down the laptop and putting up the chairs and the like, I sent an SMS to a few people to let them know how little time was left before I would be getting my phone. Not too long later, my friend, Dan, called me. He was in line in Lincoln, Nebraska. He got in line before I did and was further back in the line, but he was definitely getting a phone and we were both excited. I'm really glad he called because it was fun to share short stories of our wait and to pass the time of the last few minutes that seemed to drag on and on.]
6:52pm iHave the iPhone! I’m downloading the new version of iTunes right now so that I can activate my phone and select my plan and everything. On the way home, I ripped open my bag, carefully opened my box and lovingly caressed my new phone. I turned it on and started at the beautiful Apple logo as it started up. Then I nodded understandingly as it asked me to activate with iTunes and shut it back off. The new version of iTunes is being painfully long to download… Oh! It’s done! Here I go… Updating iTunes library… Come on… come on… Okay, I’ve plugged it in! “Let’s Get Started!” it tells me… Okay, let’s! Okay, entering my info… verifying my data… Omigosh, I can’t remember my Apple ID password! Oh wait… yeah, that’s it. Hmm…. not letting me choose the Family Plan like April said it would. I’m trying not to be concerned… I’m sure I’ll be able to clear that up later. Okay, processing my activation… Oh look! My iPhone says it’s activated! And it’s synching! Well, I’m sure I’ll get an error some where because I don’t have enough room to sync it all.
Omigosh! My husband called me! Not even a full minute after the phone said it was activated! Aww… too cool! So now I’m selecting what to synch and then I’m going to make the promised first calls and then I’m going to meet up with my friends for dinner finally. Yay! I didn’t set up the family plan, but I’ll call AT&T later.
I’m going to update this entry later when I have some time…
[Update: 11:31pm I’m having a blast with my phone. I talked to Dan again with my iPhone but he was synching his at the time. I made that call a three way call and called Helen. We were disappointed to get her voicemail. I also did a three way call with my husband and our friend, Frank, which probably wasn’t exciting for them because they were standing next to each other at the time. I had fun shuffling through pictures, zooming in and zooming out with my fingertips. I had WAY too much fun sending SMS and viewing them like IMs. I had people call me while I played my music. And then I had them leave voicemail so I could see my list of messages and purposefully listen to them in no particular order. I found my home on the map. Set my location for the weather. Took pictures of my husband. Watched a video on YouTube. Took a picture of strawberries. Turned my phone from landscape to portrait and back again to watch my view change. Went to this web page to read what I’d posted. Zoomed in on the photos. Checked my email. Basically, I was incredibly boring company at Frank and Amy’s because I kept fiddling with my phone and showing everyone what else it could do. It was a lot of money, to be sure, but so far it was worth it…