3G iPhone: A Coast-To-Coast View Of Apple's Extravagant Launch
3G IPHONE CREATES A NATIONWIDE BUZZ
Apple product launches often taken on a life of their own, and the 3G iPhone was no exception. Apple lovers across the country lined up, in some cases for days, to grab the popular device as it was released.
ChannelWeb reporters documented the spectacle Friday from Boston, to New York, and across the country to San Francisco.
THE BOSTON APPLE STORE BEFORE IT OPENED
The Apple Store on Boylston Street in Boston. As the line stretched around the corner for over a block, a few employees inside the store look down on the crowd of students, professionals and reporters that came together to get a first look at the brand new 3G iPhone.
FIRST IN LINE: FRANCISCO FROM VENEZUELA
Meet Francisco from Venezuela. He had been waiting in front of the Apple store since Monday in order to be the first person let into the store. At just 16 years old, Francisco made friends with anyone he could to keep him company on his week-long vigil. As you can see on his whiteboard, just half an hour was left until the 8 a.m. opening of the store.
KEEPING COMFORTABLE IN A LONG LINE
At the Apple Store, some lined up days in advance. Others got down to the store between midnight and 5 a.m., while more queued up after the sun had risen at a more reasonable hour. The line stretched for more than a block and a half by 10 minutes to 8a.m.
HEY, WE'VE GOT THE IPHONE TOO
Guess what? The ATandT store was also selling the iPhone at 8 a.m. Just two and a half blocks down the street from the Apple Store, the line wasn't even half as long. Rather than camping out since Monday, like young Francisco over at the Apple Store, ATandT customers avoided the hype of the flagship store and started lining up at 4 a.m. or 5 a.m. Friday.
I USE THE IPHONE FOR WORK
Lisa Staley, from Randolph, Mass., an Enterprise Mac Specialist, chose the ATandT store over the Apple store. She works testing Mac hardware and software for her company and couldn't wait to get her hands on the new 3G iPhone. "We have three iPhones in the office right now," said Staley. "I'm here to get a personal one for myself." Why? "Because I live on my phone. Integrating Exchange into the iPhone is going to change my working life."
YET ANOTHER LINE IN BOSTON
Hurry up and wait. After waiting in line for at least a couple of hours (and more likely a couple of days), these Mac devotees were finally let into the store, only to be forced to wait in another line. The Apple Store was letting in between 25 and 30 customers at a time and that meant more waiting time while employees of the store individually activated the phones for customers upstairs.
Leave it Google to get its fingers in everything, even the 3G iPhone launch. While Tyler Bosmeny wasn't a plant from the search engine company (as far as this reporter could tell, anyway) he was wearing a fairly conspicuous t-shirt. Bosmeny, a Harvard student, said he was looking forward to the GPS capabilities and couldn't wait to ditch his old flip phone for what he called his first "real phone."
YOU'LL OWE US THIS MUCH FOR THIS LONG
You know that exclusive contract you'll have to sign with ATandT in order to get the subsidized version of the 3G iPhone? Here an Apple Store employee (in the blue shirt) explains the different pricing options and policies from which a customer can choose.
FINALLY, A SOFT LANDING
This guy was dedicated. He'd been in line overnight with his backpack, chair and pillow. Looking exhausted was an understatement. When asked what was most important in making it to the iPhone release he said, "My pillow."
FIRST ONE OUT IN BOSTON
Victory! 18-year-old Yuri Bredbeck of Boston was the first consumer to walk out of the store with a new 3G iPhone. Bredbeck wasn't the first person in line, though. That was Francisco, but he was let into the Apple store with the first group. Twenty minutes later he was the first person to walk out of the Boston Apple store with this slick new phone. But 20 minutes to activate one iPhone? The line was still snaked around the block in downtown Boston and it could be a long day for everyone if does take 20 minutes to get every phone up and running.
NEW YORK: TO PROTECT AND SERVE
New York's Finest kept a watchful eye on the crowds, but said that everyone was well behaved.
SEND US YOUR HUDDLED MASSES
Most of the crowd arrived around 5 a.m. but even the exhausted were psyched to get their hands on the 3G.
Apple employees (in orange) welcome patient customers with smiles and high fives.
ANOTHER PLANET HEARD FROM
An AWOL astronaut lands safely in front of the store.
BABES IN TOYLAND
Although the line snaked around the block from Fifth Ave. to Madison Ave., it moved surprisingly quickly.
WE NEED MORE COWBELLS
For the most part, 3G fans were regular folks, but there was the occasional developer. Brian, all the way from San Francisco, thought the tools Apple was offering were "pretty unbelievable" and couldn't wait to use them. Sadly, Christopher Walken, a star of the immortal Saturday Night Live "Cowbells" skit, was not in attendance.
WHY ARE THESE BROTHERS SMILING?
Among the first to get a 3G, these brothers said they only spent about eight minutes in the store as Apple employees zipped through setting up their phones.
WAITING UNTIL THE COWS COME HOME
A herd of cows battled chickens (not pictured ) in the quest for a 3G.
YOU'VE JUST GOT A 3G, WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO NOW?
No, this new 3G owner isn't going to Disneyland. Along with most in the crowd, he already owns an iPhone, and is sending his first gen phone to relatives in Israel. Most iPhoners said they planned on selling their old models.
IT'S NOT JUST FOR GEEKS AND SUITS
These guys skipped the Apple crowd and bought their 3Gs from ATandT, where there was no fuss, no muss and no crowds.
IN SAN FRANCISCO: A DEDICATED CUSTOMER
Dale Larson of San Francisco is first in line at the Apple store at 1 Stockton Street, camping out from Wednesday afternoon through to the official release of the new 3G iPhones Friday at 8 a.m. Queuing up early would prove to be advantageous when the line began to grow late Thursday, but why Larson felt it necessary to protect his No. 1 spot from absolutely no one for more than 12 hours is a bit of a mystery.
HOW YA LIKE THEM APPLES?
By mid-day Thursday, Dale Larson had been joined in the 3G iPhone line by Ryan Johnson of Ohio. Johnson, who said he'd been travelling the country for the past several months, said the improved GPS functionality on the new iPhone was his reason for buying one. In the meantime, he doodled his impressions of the new device and what it would mean for his life. No, we have no idea what any of this means either.
AMPHIBIOUS ASSAULT ON APPLE?
The Bay Quackers tour bus rolls past the 3G iPhone line from Fisherman's Wharf toward Market Street at around noon on Thursday.
KICKING IT IN LINE
By Friday morning just before opening, the line at San Francisco's Apple store had grown to include several hundred people waiting to get their hands on a new 3G iPhone.
THE LONG WAIT
The line Friday morning at the San Francisco Apple store stretches up Stockton Street, past the Crate and Barrel on O'Farrell Street and on around the corner for several hundred yards.
YOU'RE GONNA LIKE THE WAY YOU LOOK
Imagine the disappointment of the people who waited hours for what they assumed was a sale at the Men's Warehouse, only to walk away with a boring old iPhone.
VICTORY AT LAST
Hooray! He got his 3G iPhone! Now is the time on Sprockets when we text message!
MORE IPHONE NEWS AT 11
Televison's Tad Manly gets to the bottom of this whole 3G iPhone thing. You may know him from his exciting reports from the "Sex in the City" and "Harry Potter: The Deathly Hallows" lines.
B-LIST LINE SQUATTERS
Just a block or so away from the Apple store, things were decidedly more low-key at the ATandT store on Market Street, where 3G iPhones were also made available starting at 8 a.m. Friday.
YOU HAD ME AT 3G
Okay, quick! GPS the nearest Mojito! We've got to get them in before ATandT starts garnishing our wages!