So in the weeks and days leading up to the launch, I was certainly "keeping my finger on the pulse" if you will. With everything that Apple was posting along with the plethora of tech blogs, it's amazing how much you could learn about the iPhone before it was even out. And the hype generated by all this coverage was out of control. Some of the notable items:
- The dude who got in line on Monday morning for the Friday launch. Turns out he's a "chronic line sitter".
- Apple updating their site with content and videos throughout the week. I was eating these up.
- Guided Tour (Check out the Google Maps feature if you haven't already. It starts around the 18-minute mark.)
- How to activate
- How to get ready
- Pretty much every 3rd article at Digg.com was about the iPhone. Each "talk-back" featured an epic battle pitting the Apple fan boys against the haters. Those who were drooling over the phone would "digg" any and all articles onto the front page. And then all the haters would rip the phone apart with their comments. Hilarity ensued. It's hard for me to describe how entertaining this was throughout the week because anti-iPhone types just became more enraged as more iPhone articles came out.
- Certain tech reviewers got advanced copies of the phones and everyone flocked to their reviews.
- This crazy story popped up the day before launch. Steve Jobs "pulls an Oprah".
So I spent all day checking various forums and websites to see what the hubbub was around Tucson. Early on, it looked like I might not even have to wait in line at all. I had it on good authority that my chosen AT&T store would have 70 iPhones. At noon, the line was 20 people so all seemed cool. I exercised some serious restraint and didn't make the move to line up til around 4:45pm. In case you didn't know, all iPhones went on sale at (and not before) 6pm local time.
I decided to just walk to the AT&T since it's really a block away. I brought my big iPod and a book. Crazy thing is that, as I was waiting to cross the one intersection I needed to cross to get the store, there was a 2-car accident. I had my back turned so I only heard the initial impact. Everyone was fine, but I actually went ahead and called the police to report the accident. Kind of a weird moment.
ANYWAY I found myself around 40th in line. People were a little nervous about getting one. Quite a few were calling around to check on lines. Eventually the AT&T guy came out and I found that I'd be getting one after a little interrogation. By that time, there was a pretty fair amount of people behind me. Enough people that some who drove up and parked chose to leave and try their luck at another store.
6pm rolled around and they allowed 8 people in the store at once. There was a police officer at the door. He was basically the bouncer. He would let one in after one came out. Slightly annoying for most of us in line were the people that actually shopped once they got into the store. Some would take time to try out the demo units and look at all the cases ... hence increasing our wait time. I got in the store around 7, went straight for the checkout line - "One 8-gig, please." The clerk asked me "do you have any questions?" I couldn't help but reply "No. I know way too much about this thing."
So I walked home and after some chores, began the unboxing and activation. I have to say that unboxing Apple products really is enjoyable in itself. See the picture below. Apple puts so much thought into everything.
I activated the phone with almost no trouble. I had to wait a little longer than expected, but it was probably only around 10 minutes. It looks like I just beat the rush because, as has been reported often, AT&T was not ready to handle so many activations at once. Anyway, I finally sync'd the thing and started to play with it.
My review falls in line with most reviews. Most of all, it's just a gorgeous device. Looking at it and watching it flow through the different menus is amazing. It is certainly lacking some things that many cell phone owners are used to, but the thing to remember is that it's an entirely software-based device. Apple will be releasing free software updates in the weeks/months to come and I'm sure they'll fill in the holes. For me, this thing meets the hype. It's easily the most amazing "gadget" I've ever seen, much less owned.
I look at it like this. It's the most gorgeous iPod Apple has created. It's a handheld MacBook with a touch screen that no one else has. Oh and you can call people with it too if you want.
- Looks like I should have just gone to the Apple store. It's now Sunday morning and just about every Apple store in America still has iPhones. Also, I think the "launch experience" would have been a bit more fun at an Apple store.
- Someone chose to spend $600 and then immediately disassemble the thing in order to see its inerds.
- I found the stress tests unbelievably hard to watch, but it's quite the test to watch before you consider buying a case. Looks like you don't need one at all.
- Crazy story about a woman buying a spot in line and intending on buying thousands of iPhones.
- I think this is a very fair review.
- Finally, this is hilarious even when you know that the phone can handle a fall.