The length of the lines varies in each city; In Arlington, the line outside the shopping center easily numbered 100 before the Apple Store opened its doors at 6 p.m. At the Apple Store in the Washington Square shopping center in Tigard, Oregon, about 50 people were in queue three before the launch of the iPhone; and only five people were waiting at the nearest AT&T store.
What has led most people to queue in front of a store to get a device that they can also buy online? For most, it has been the promise of a better mobile device than they already have. Jason Miller, an environmental engineer from Arlington, Virginia, wanted to upgrade his Treo which he has said “does everything about half as well as it should.”
Gelnn Sparico, a professor, smiled as he showed off his LG Electronics phone that he said could sell for “about a dollar” once he had his iPhone in hand. He thinks his current phone is heavy and calls web browsing “appalling” while he hopes the iPhone can provide some improvement.
Only a few have achieved the short-lived glory of being first in line to get the phone. In Arlington, that honor went to Kevin Towson, a police officer who had been queuing since 9 p.m. on Thursday, June 28. Townson said he was looking forward to plugging in his iPhone and syncing his iTunes library after a night of only two hours’ sleep.
The first two people in line at the Danbury Apple Store were Giovanni Scaringi (age 28) and Oren Krinsky (age 22).
Krinsky, who arrived around two hours after Scaringi did to take second in line, made a pact with Scaringi to make sure that no one lost their place when they had to leave their position to go for food or the toilets. .
When asked about how many iPhones they were going to buy, they both indicated that they would only buy one. As Scaringi stated, “I only want it for personal use, and I paid a $ 200 penalty to Nextel three weeks ago to terminate my contract.”
At the Apple Store on Stockton Street in San Francisco, one of Apple’s flagship stores, marketer Jerry Taylor was first in line. Taylor, who has been queuing since 10 a.m. on Thursday, June 28, hopes to show his boss, a BlackBerry user, how good the iPhone is.
There’s also another advantage of being first in line besides the obvious one of being the first to get your hands on the iPhone: You also get some media attention. Taylor indicated that he has been interviewed more times than he would have liked by different web journalists, print media and television reporters. While reporters from Macworld USA speak to him on Friday morning, other reporters from Cnet, Wired and Bloomberg are waiting their turn to interview him.
From the different events of the iPhone launch throughout the US:
San Francisco: An hour before the Stockton Street Apple Store opened, about 400 people were lining up about two and a half blocks long. In position number 153, Philippe Bartoszewicz of San Francisco awaited his turn. “I said that the reason he was here is because I am going on a trip in a few days and I want to take him with me. But it’s actually because I’m obsessed. I didn’t realize it until people started asking questions about the device and I realized that I knew all the answers. “
Right in front of Bartoszewicz, Brian Shire is 152 after arriving at noon and offers a much simpler explanation for why he was queuing: “It’s better than sitting all day at the office.”
While people crowd in front of the Apple Store, the lines at one of the AT&T stores in lower San Francisco are much shorter. About two dozen people were waiting in the late afternoon on Friday, June 29, with photojournalism student Amanda Rybarczyky J. Martin, both 23 years old, taking the top two positions. The two began their morning at the Apple Store, arriving at 2:30 in the morning to find they were ranked 60th and 61st in line, respectively. Rather than wait, they made a two-block trip to the AT&T store, where their positions improved significantly.
Neither of them intends to use the phone they are going to buy, but will sell it on eBay.
According to Rybarczyk, “I will really want the phone at some point. But I want to wait for the updates. Apart from that, we are students, with little money and it is better than donating blood. “
Ryan Overdevest, a 22-year-old student, was third in line at the AT&T store. Unlike Rybarczyk and Martin, Overdevest does not plan to sell the iPhone it is going to buy. But you don’t plan on using it either. “I would like to have it to myself, but I can’t afford it. I’m here for my boss. He was the one who sent me as soon as I got to work this morning. “
Back on Stockton Street, the doors to the Apple Store opened at 5:50 p.m., and immediately the rumors began among the crowd before they turned into cheers. A line of Apple employees, dressed in black, mingled with people clapping and cheering. The traffic stopped.
At 5:55, the employees entered the store followed by an army of cameras. People started the countdown to 6 PM and then began to sing Auld Lang Syne. Just after six o’clock the store let people in, and Apple employees lined both sides of the stairs, clapping and cheering. — Mathew Honan.
The Apple Store in SoHo in New York had a carnival atmosphere throughout the afternoon, and it reached its climax when the crowds of people began the countdown just before 6 p.m. For the past hour, before the doors opened, a man was even selling positions from the front of the line to those in the back seats.
Amid shrieks and cheers, film director Spike Lee was the first to enter the store, saying he was there for a cause of solidarity. A New York (Brooklyn) organization called Keepa a Child Alive