3G iPhone Mania Part 6: My Story

So after a few days of seeing how Daniel’s iPhone operated and just all around drooling, I decided it was high-time that I got my own. Now of course, I thought after a few days the excitement would die down and I would be able to get one without waiting. Boy was I wrong. Here is a log of my attempts:

Attempt 1: July 13 South Coast Plaza, I went around 7pm. Plenty of phones, but line was cut off.
Attempt 2: Brea Mall – Sorry, we are all out of iPhones
Attempt 3: July 15 – Pasadena – According to the Apple iPhone tracker, this was one of the last stores to actually have the black 16GB in stock, but upon arriving there was already a three hour line and there were only white 16GB available. Frustrated, we left empty handed.
Attempt 4: July 16 – Newport Fashion Island – Again, Apple iPhone tracker has 16GB in stock. We show up an hour before the store opened. The line concierge says sorry, we opened hours earlier and sold them all, all we have is black 8GB. Again, we leave empty handed.

At this point, I was like someone really doesn’t want me to have the phone. Undeterred, I listened to all my friends go on about how wonderful it is, and eventually I was swayed back to get one. But by the weekend of the 19th, they were sold out in the whole state of California. I resigned to the fact that I was going to have to wait three weeks until Steve Jobs plusses up the inventory.

On Monday night the 21st, the iPhone tracker said South Coast Plaza was back in stock of all flavors. I was tempted to go, but having not had much sleep in the past week due to iPhone nightmares as well as getting up early with Daniel and working to 2am, I decided to pass and sleep late. Tuesday night’s iPhone tracker said that South Coast was again plussed up with all flavors, and I figured it’s now or never.

Attempt 5: So Wednesday July 23rd, 12 days after launch and waiting 4.5 hours with Daniel for his iPhone, I was back at the Apple Store South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa waiting in line. I was smarter this time and brought my Nintendo DS Lite loaded with Tetris. Having hindsight, I think BrainAge would have been a better companion. As I settled in, I noticed we were at the 1.5 hour mark from the previous wait. The people around me amazed about how long the line was taking, and I told them they have no idea what they are in for, and admitted to them how dumb I was for not getting one on the first day.

The Line concierge guy tells us they only have white 16GB and I am sorta pissed and thinking of a strongly worded letter to Steve about his dumb iPhone tracker, but at this point I want the phone so I just resign myself to white and figure I can get a nice black case to put around it. The concierge dude also tells us that they usually get a shipment o’ iPhones just after opening, and they have no idea what they get until they open the box – so there is a slim chance that some black 16GB goodness will be inside. About an hour and half go by, and I finally make it past the Carousel and am met by line concierge #2. He lets us know that indeed a shipment has come in, and lo and behold there are some 16GB blacks in there. So now it is a waiting game as we inch closer to the stainless steel facade of the Apple store. Will they get all of the blacks before I get there? I had to keep telling myself that I would get whatever they had left.

Three hours after getting in line, I am at the threshold of the store and I can hardly stand it. This guy in front of me has been stoic the entire time, while the people behind me are chomping at the bit to get in the store just like me. We take a vote and determine that guy doesn’t deserve an iPhone – he is not enthusiastic enough, and he better not take the last black one!

Finally, I am greeted by Grant, Apple Tech extraordinaire. He asks what he can get for me, and resisting the temptation to say, “Oh, I just want a cable for my iMac”, I ask him for a 16GB black iPhone. He says he has one and I am thrilled. The process was fairly fast for me. I knew what plan I wanted, had my Verizon account numbers and we were authorized in about 10 minutes. Grant then asked if I wanted a tour of the phone. I told him I have a basic idea of the stuff on the phone, and he proceeded to show me the apps he has on his phone and what he recommends. He also gave me tips on how to get my emails set up and a few other things. Now I know why the lines take so long. Apple employees want each customer to have excellent customer service before they leave the store and make sure they get all the information they need. It made the wait almost worthwhile (probably if I had only waited once, it would have been all worthwhile.)

Grant finally presents Josh with his new iPhone. (taken with the Moto Q)

On my way out, I picked out a car charger, and looked for a case, but did not see one I liked. I finally had my iPhone and couldn’t be happier. I did end up getting a black rubber-esque case from the Brea Apple store. I initially wanted the clear one that Lauran and Daniel have, but decided to get one that would help keep the iPhone in my pocket.

After a couple of days, I still am impressed with the things this little phone can do. I am happy I can set custom ringtones and access all of my mail accouts. I am also excited I can view web pages the way they are meant to be seen. Now, I loved my Motorola Q, but the iPhone has much better sound quality speakerwise, as well as listening to people on the phone. The 3G coverage is still a bit spotty, but doing some research, discovered AT&T is expanding the 3G spectrum to help get better reception inside buildings.

The previous post had a photo of my car taken from the iPhone. I do notice that the text requires some cleanup on my end, but I will try and see if I can get a Flickr app for my phone to upload directly. Also a Movable Type one would be awesome as well. Compare the photo from my Moto Q of the damaged bumper!