iPhone4 Beautiful, But Not Worth 6.5 Hour Wait in 110f heat

by francine Hardaway on June 24, 2010

I’m limp, collapsed on my couch with my new iPhone4 after waiting in line at the Apple Store at Biltmore Fashion Park in Phoenix this morning. I went out there at 7 AM and got my phone at 1:23 PM. In between, Apple provided pizza, cookies, water, umbrellas against the hot sun, and  breakfast bars. But they couldn’t take away from the slowness of the process, one person going into the store at a time, each person checked off on a list, about ten people with reservations for every person without one. The people in the non-reservations line carried signs saying “We are all Apple customers,” because people with reservations were angry that any of them got in before us. But they deserved to get in, because they were probably not derelict, just victims of the Big PreOrder Fail.

I was one of the fortunate few to get through to the Apple website on the morning of pre-order day, before things went South, In the past, I had always pre-ordered and had my new toys delivered to my home, but the last time I did that my business partner went to the Apple store early in the morning and came home with his iPad several hours before FedEx delivered mine. And I had to stay home all day, too, because Apple requires a signature for a delivery. And not just the signature of another adult:  MY signature.

So this time I decided I would smarten up. I’d  get in line in the early morning when it would be cool and I would hang out for the couple of hours I thought it would take me to get the phone. However, when I arrived, I realized I was in danger of having made a terrible tactical error. Not only that, but I had brought the dogs with me, thinking they’d be okay after being walked.

They weren’t okay. The sun fell on the pavement in front of the Paradise Bakery, around the corner — no, around TWO corners — from the Apple store. They visibly wilted.  I had to have them escorted home so I could continue to suffer. I reasoned that if I passed out from the heat, an ambulance would whisk me away to a cool hospital.  But if the dogs had heat stroke, they’d be on their own.  So home they went, and I resumed my wait. I ran into my friends Tyler Hurst,  Tony Ash, and  Jason Ayers.  They were all ahead of me. No one offered to let me take cuts (I wonder why:-). But the line was a party, as usual, and I did make several new friends, including an attorney who was accompanying her son by sitting next to the line while he stood in it. He had been there since 1 AM, without a reservation, and he got a phone well before I did. She is a reader of this blog.

After four hours of standing, I began to feel light-headed, and the thought of passing out and losing my place in line didn’t sound so good, so I went around to the front of the store and told the poor kid guarding the gate how I felt. He was so well-trained, or humane, or smart, that he immediately got me a chair, and I spent the remainder of the wait outside the air conditioned store watching everyone go in and out. When I finally went in, people in line applauded.

Ten minutes later, I was out with my phone. Two hours later still, I’ve got it synced and charged and ready to go.

How is it?  Umm, I don’t know. I don’t have anyone to videochat with yet, and I am just beginning to try the camera. It has a cute icon that turns it from front facing to rear facing, and I just scared myself by looking in the mirror at a woman who has just been out in 100+ heat for six hours. I immediately turned it back. I’m not sure I will be doing a lot of videochatting:-)

It feels funny. It’s glass on the back, and I got this bumper for it, so it is protected front and back from falling, but it doesn’t feel solid like the old phone. I hope it survives my “active lifestyle.” The screen if almost startlingly clear, but it’s still new — i will manage to muck it up. I’m sure it has many features I don’t know about, because I just upgraded my old phone to IOS4 and hadn’t yet figured out how to run apps in the background, so I think my next step will be to RTFM.

Or maybe I will take a nap and a shower.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Gypsy Raven June 24, 2010 at 4:15 pm

Wow! I suppose the bright side is… ladies can use the front facing camera has a mirror for touch-ups :D

tdhurst June 24, 2010 at 4:19 pm

People get killed for allowing cuts. I've seen it happen. They are lead away and never brought back.

susanbeebe June 24, 2010 at 4:21 pm

Wow! You're nuts! :) Apple must relish customer stories like this! amazing – 110F heat for 6 and half hours! wow

dan_suhr June 24, 2010 at 5:14 pm

The title of your post needs to be: “The Cost of Early Adoption.”

Glad you survived.

jiangwen20 July 16, 2010 at 12:46 am

Is iphone4's problem serious?

jiangwen20 July 16, 2010 at 12:47 am

Is iphone4's problem serious?

Anonymous July 16, 2010 at 7:46 am

Is iphone4’s problem serious?

Anonymous July 16, 2010 at 7:47 am

Is iphone4’s problem serious?

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