Friday, July 11, 2008

New iPhone Launch 2

While Extremely Enthusiastic iPhone fans had queued all night, or at least from the early hours of the morning, outside the Apple Store, 'cheeky chappie' Lance spotted a gap...and stepped in!

By 9 am, an hour after the store opened, he stood at the head of the 'next batch' to be admitted to the store. With his friend, Dennie, he good-humouredly confessed that he had slipped into a gap when no-one was looking and that his wait time was...15 mins!!!

'I didn't know what the line was for,' he said, of the moment when he first noticed hundreds of people standing in line on the pavement.

Lance said he was now looking forward to an iPhone but confessed to not having either an ipod or an Apple Mac computer. 'I use a Zoom,' he said.

Next to Lance and Dennie was Scott, whose feet had been feeling the pavement since 4 am and who listened to Lance's story with amusement.

As I was about to speak to Scott, the Apple Store doormen called them forward and with a wave of the hand, Scott was an apparition, the sound of the new iPhone already ringing in his ears.

Several hundred yards away around the corner was the end of the queue. Quite by chance I found Queen Kellita, San Fran's Carnaval Queen and dance professional. Under her straw hat, Kellita was thrilled at the prospect of an iPhone.

'I've never had an iPhone before,' she said, predicting that it would revolutionise life for many people.

'I'll be able to show videos and photos in my palm,' she said. She stretched out her hand and contemplated the advantages both socially and professionally for her.

'I'll be able to revise dances I'm about to perform while I'm on the way,' she said. Accessing email would be another bonus for her.

'Having the phone will push me to learn more. I'm not really techy at all,' she said. But she has had a Mac laptop for a while which has made her appreciate the effort Apple go to to present their systems 'in the friendliest way possible to non-techy people.'

Further along the pavement were Junell and Ray, visiting San Fran from across the Bay to celebrate Ray's birthday.

'It's 7/11!' pointed out Ray, reversing the American date that writes 11 June as 11/7. Ray had known the iPhone was being launched and had made sure he and Junell were there early.

'We got into town at about 7.35 am and came directly here,' he said.

'I have a Blackberry, and a PC but I'm willing to trade it in for an iPhone,' he said. He listed a few things that attracted him to the new phone: photo albums, iTunes, the ability to access emails on the hoof and GPS.

Were they getting one each? Junell shook her head. The technology seemed a bit overwhelming, she said, but she was buying one for her daughter's fiance.

I wished Ray a Happy Birthday! and went back to the beginning of the queue.

The doormen were answering queries non-stop from people passing by and especially from those who wished to shop in the store for items other than the iPhone. 'Ordinary' shoppers were having to form a small queue of their own and wait for a staff member to accompany them inside. They were also being told they had to purchase something as the store was not available for browsing in.

Besides the doormen, other young staff in the signature orange tee-shirts were offering free bottles of water.

Next in line to be called into the store was Samantha and mum, Dana. For sacrificial on!

Dana had placed herself in the queue at 5.30 am while Samantha slept on peacefully then sauntered to Starbucks!

Dana explained, 'I'm from New York. I had conference calls at 6 am so...I did my three conference calls and let her sleep in as I had to be up anyway!'

The phone, though, is a well-earned graduation present for Samantha from her aunt, who at the same time was queuing in Los Angeles for her son - Samantha's cousin.

'I'm excited for the ease of the internet in my hand. I can check my email before I get out of bed!' Samantha, who has gained a Math degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston, said happily.

But at least, as she made her way from Starbucks to the Apple Store, she brought a hot chocolate for her mum!

Pics above show crowd entering store and Dana and Samantha.

Click here for more pics in album and click to enlarge.

For first report of the day, see previous blog

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