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Posted at 7:09 AM ET, 06/24/2010

iPhone frenzy comes to D.C. area

By Mike McPhate
iphone
Thomas Smith, 32, tries out the video on his new iPhone after standing in line outside the Apple Store in Georgetown. "This is going to be the talk of the office today," he said. (AP)

Sherman Callis wins.

The 24-year-old Temple Hills man arrived at the Georgetown Apple store at 6:30 a.m. Wednesday to stake his claim on the No. 1 spot in line for the latest iteration of the company's smartphone, the iPhone 4. By Thursday morning, there were hundreds behind him.

It was a scene repeated at Apple stores throughout the Washington area.

About 50 lucky souls queued up in a pre-order line at the Georgetown store, an option that was blocked for most customers after Apple was deluged by more than 600,000 reservations and stopped allowing them.

The rest had to try their luck against the store's unknown inventory, a plight that fueled fast friendships among customers who lounged on coolers and camp chairs in a line stretching down Wisconsin Avenue and up M Street NW.

"We're a family here," Charles Robinson, 23, said of his new pals. "We don't know about everyone else, but we're a little family."

Store employees helped lift the mood, plying weary customers -- many of whom didn't sleep -- with water, poppy seed bagels, blueberry muffins and strawberries.

It may be all some get. Rumors swirled this morning about the number of devices available in the store.

One TV station said there could be as few as 10.

At the No. 39 spot in line, 29-year-old Jay Plater-Zyberk, who got in line at 12:15 a.m., said he's not worried. A store manager told people in his section that "we're okay," he said.

Plater-Zyberk said he and others had worked overnight to maintain the integrity of the queue. About 2:30 a.m., they spotted two women and a man who appeared to slip in near the front of the line.

A solution was devised to rip up about 60 pieces paper, number them and hand them to everyone in line, proof if they needed to call out other cutters.

The promise of more than 100 new features has helped fuel excitement about the device, customers said. For Callis though, like many others in line, it seemed to be all about the new front-facing HD video camera.

"It's just amazing, man," he said.

Amazing enough to justify 25 hours in line? "I wouldn't exchange the experience for anything," he said.

Q&A, 2:30 p.m.: Rob Pegoraro unveils the new iPhone 4

Photo gallery: Apple launches new smartphpone

User photos: Show us your new iPhone 4

Video: The scene at Japan stores

-- Mike McPhate

By Mike McPhate  | June 24, 2010; 7:09 AM ET
Categories:  DC  | Tags:  washington dc  
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Comments

The BlackBerry networks were not shut down on 9/11 -- they continued to operate. That means the evil men who allowed 9/11 use BlackBerrys. I oppose allowing Americans to be killed by terrorists. I own an iPhone.

Posted by: blasmaic | June 24, 2010 8:05 AM | Report abuse

Is there anything more obnoxious than an Apple idiot?

Posted by: BO__Stinks | June 24, 2010 8:19 AM | Report abuse

Is there anything more obnoxious than an Apple idiot?

Posted by: BO__Stinks | June 24, 2010 8:19 AM | Report abuse

==

You mean, besides people who put their politics into their username?

Posted by: mikem1 | June 24, 2010 8:26 AM | Report abuse

mikem1 must ride the metro. he loves body odor.

Posted by: BO__Stinks | June 24, 2010 8:32 AM | Report abuse

AT&T store staff told me this morning it was taking 30 minutes per person to get a phone and activate. Multiple by how many are in line in front of you, then divide by number of computers in the store = wait time to get the phone today... if they have enough in stock.

Posted by: mcriswell | June 24, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Of course, they could have just pre-ordered the phone and gotten it yesterday.

Posted by: mikem1 | June 24, 2010 8:53 AM | Report abuse

@ BO__Stinks - Yeah, Apple haters.

Posted by: Buster8 | June 24, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Three words - Get. A. Life.

Posted by: waterfrontproperty | June 24, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

...my wife and I got ours yesterday around 4:30 at our front door. We went out and got cases this afternoon once the stores were clear. For her iPad I woke up around 2pm, opened my front door, and picked it up off the porch on release day. It's called planning - some people may want to look into it.

BTW, the phone is sex on a stick.

Posted by: shapeshifter77 | June 24, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

What's the fuss about these car phones?

Posted by: 123cartoon | June 24, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

This thing was a fiasco. Unfortunately preordering with delivery isn't an option for everyone as it requires a signature confirmation as FedEx won't leave it at your door. There were a substantial number of people at the Fair Oaks Mall store that had printed confirmation emails that weren't on apple's "list" of preordered customers. Not sure what the Apple Store people were doing but in 3 hours, they hadn't cleared a backlog of people and there were still 600+ in line. I wish I had known Best Buy had a preorder, I'd have gone through them....no lines at all. As it turns out, I went in and preordered one for their delivery next week.

Posted by: norbert1234 | June 24, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like people with either no jobs or the underemployed. I have a 3G. I am very happy with it. I do plan on upgrading to the iPhone 4 but I'll wait until the frenzy dies down.

Posted by: jabreal00 | June 24, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Yet another commercial by the Post masking as a news story. Is Apple at least providing reimbursement of any kind?

Posted by: DrLou1 | June 24, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

An even better way to avoid the iPhone lines -- get a Sprint HTC EVO.

Here are all the things an EVO can do that an iPhone can't:

-Stream HD video, including Flash video, over a 4G network
-True multi-tasking
-Act as a wifi hotspot
-Have the battery replaced with a spare when it runs out of juice
-cost only $70 a month for unlimited data, unlimited any mobile to any mobile.
-NO DROPPED CALLS ON AT&T

. . . and for the 18-25 year old young male crowd, oh who am I kidding, 18-110 males -- PORN apps.


Posted by: xandersun | June 24, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

They had to make little numbered slips of paper to determine their proper line positions? There wasn't an iPhone app for that?

Posted by: Wallenstein | June 24, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

What a bunch of nuts! Waiting in line for a phone. These people need to get a life. Probably don't have a girlfriend either.

Posted by: Classic60 | June 24, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

this article rates an iturd:

You iPeople need a iLife

1st in line?? kinda says it all, doesn't it

"Idiots stand in line for latest crapware" is a story????

Posted by: EnoughisEnough1 | June 24, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who showed up without a reservation deserved not to get one

How stupid can you be? Everyone knows about how ridiculous limited in stock they are AROUND THE WORLD....so why exactly would Apple have extras?

Posted by: Bious | June 24, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Maybe it's me but I can not understand why people will stand in line for hours to get the latest piece of technology. We see this with the iPhons, Windows 7, etc. If history is any indication you wait while bugs, which are always creeping up, are fixed.

No one ever went broke under estimating the intelegence of the American consumer.

Posted by: Jimof1913 | June 24, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

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