I finally had the chance to check out the Apple store on 5th Ave, Manhattan after not one, not two, but three attempts! And what would be a better time to check it out other than the iPhone 3G launch? Being able to experience a little Apple hysteria is what it’s all about.
One doesn’t just venture into the city on a whim, so here’s a little back story to fill you in...
Friday, the 11th - iPhone 3G launch day
I figured there was no way I was going to get an iPhone on launch day. By the time I got out of work, the stores would be mobbed, if not sold out. By the time I got out of work I wasn’t in the mood to sit in line for 4 hours anyway. So I headed home. It was just all well. I’d been following the blogs and the stores were mobbed and AT&T was having server issues which was taking the activation process way longer than it should. After my wife got home that night she reassured me that there would be more than enough to go around. So we’d hit up the mall Saturday. We checked the stock online and all was good.
Saturday, the 12th
We went to the Palisades Mall in Nyack, NY and I got in line at the Apple store. There were about 40-50 people in front of me. I was in line while my wife took our three boys to the Lego store and to bring me back a cup of coffee. Anyway, half an hour later the manager came out and said they were out of 16G Black iPhones. So I jumped off the line and we split to the Apple store in Tice's Corner, Woodcliff Lake, NJ.
As soon as we pulled up I knew it was bad news for us, seeing as there wasn't an iPhone line anywhere to be seen. There were a few customers inside, but no more than any other day. I walked in and asked a lady on the floor if they had any iPhones in stock. She said they sold out. I asked what was up seeing as the website last night said they were good to go. She said, “Yeh, at 9:00, but we kept on selling them for hours after that until we ran out.” Booooo! I asked her about the Garden State Mall. She said they were sold out too. I dropped a hint to my wife that we should just go the 5th Avenue store and be done with it. I was kidding since trekking three kids into the city on a Saturday afternoon is just crazy!
So, no iPhones for us.
That night, after a little boo-hoo'ing from me, my wife said, "Let's get up early with the kids tomorrow and go to the 5th Ave store!" Needless to say, I was sold on the idea.
Sunday, the 13th
So we got up and got the kids ready and headed out the house. We got to the Apple store at 11:00 AM. We stood in line for 2:30 hours and got in. It was pretty hot, but worth it. The kids were good boys. They were pretty patient. Standing in line for 2 hours is a lot to ask from a child. It was hot outside, but we made it fun for them. And FAO Schwartz was right there so my wife was able to sneak off the line at the 2 hour mark to take them inside. She met me in the Apple store half an hour later. The store was packed. There had to be at least 200 people inside. The activation thing only took 5 minutes and we were out of there.
All in all, it was a fun experience. The kids were excited as it was their first time in the city. I’m glad I finally got to see the Apple store. Although It would have been nice to be able to walk around and look a bit, but it was just too crazy in there.
Here are some pics of the iPhone Hysteria....
This is what the line looked like as I finally headed into the store around 1:30. The line is three rows deep.
Heading down the stairs gave a good shot of the activation area. This is just one corner of the store. Pretty busy, huh?
Once you’re finished waiting outside, they bring you downstairs and put you in this line to be paired up with an Apple employee. They get you your phone and walk you to the activation area.
Here’s some more shots of the insanity:
After waiting a year we have finally been rewarded with 3G. My wife picked the 16G Black, and I picked the 16G White. I can’t wait to play around with it. I’m especially looking forward to checking out the new App Store.