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Want an iPhone? Get in Line.

Mike Musgrove

Anybody else having problems with their iPhones today? IPhone owner John Carnett, who I quoted in a story for today's paper, said that trying to update to the iPhone's new 2.0 firmware has left his iPhone useless and stuck in "emergency" mode. I'm stuck without a cell phone today after experienceing a similar problem with mine.

I stopped in at Montgomery Mall Apple store this morning to take a look at the line for people waiting to get the new iPhone 3G. At around 9:30 a.m., there were still about 150 people waiting to buy the new iPhone 3G, as Apple store workers handed out free bottles of water and assured the crowd that they had an ample supply of the new phones in stock. Some new iPhone owners on their way out said they had arrived around 6:30 a.m. to get the new version of Apple's smartphone, though they said they weren't the first in line.

Down at the end of the line, by the Baby Gap, Dawn Simounet of Hyattsville said she had already waited an AT&T store in Greenbelt for almost two hours this morning before managers came out and told people that the store was out of stock and only taking orders for iPhones that would be delivered later. She decided to try her luck at the Apple store, after a quick phone call to check on the location's supply.

Simounet didn't buy the original iPhone because it was too expensive. She said she's about to move to Chicago and looks forward to using the new phone's GPS features so that she doesn't get lost in her new city.

Many of the folks in this morning's line were already iPhone users. "It's the best cell phone I've ever used," said Ron Barnett of Germantown about the original iPhone. "The only downside was the speed of the Internet access on the first one and they've fixed that with this one."

Barnett had been waiting about an hour and a half, and he and his line-waiting neighbors figured there was another hour or so of waiting to go before he got to the head of the line. Though he was planning to get to work late this morning, he hastened to point out -- in case any of his colleagues happen to read this -- that he was keeping on top of his work e-mail on his old iPhone, even as he waited. Barnett said he figures his old iPhone will get use as a back up device or as a music player around his home.

Next in line, Vick Chan of Germantown, said he got the original iPhone on the first day it launched last year, too. Chan, an IT developer, isn't going to work late today like all these other folks. "I took the day off," he said.

Anybody try the new App Store yet? I checked the new store out this morning and purchased the number-one-selling software, a game called "Super Monkey Ball." Haven't tried it out yet, alas, as my connection to the online store got very slow at one point and I ran out of time... and patience.

If anybody has any line-waiting or App Store tales to tale, please share them...

By Mike Musgrove  |  July 11, 2008; 11:18 AM ET  | Category:  Mike Musgrove
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i stood there for 11 hours

Posted by: omgq | July 11, 2008 12:48 PM

I am also w/o iPhone having upgraded my antiquated, obsolete (but recently purchased) non-3G iPhone to 2.0. Called the Apple support line... once the perky automated attendant had determined that I needed a human, the system told me that none were available at this time and hung up on me. (Apparently the Automated Attendant 2.0 upgrade also included the "rude" and "uninformative" add-ons!) Called AT&T and they threw iTunes under the bus. (It took under a minute to reach a very helpful support person at AT&T named Michelle... who knew that AT&T was going to win the battle of the technical support hotlines!). So here I sit... incessantly plugging and unplugging my USB sync cable -- hoping that I am going to win the iTunes Authentication sweepstakes and that I will be able to use my iPhone again!

Posted by: Dave (Washinghton DC) | July 11, 2008 1:27 PM

I arrived at the ATT store on Pico and Sepulveda in Los Angeles at 6:15AM PST today and was 37th in line with a book, blueberry muffin and hot coffee in hand. They came by and handed out water to us twice (I took one bottle) and by 8:15, many of us (myself included) had to pee. The ATT store did not rent a single port-a-potty, and there were no restrooms available for people in line. Furthermore, once you finally got into the store, they refused to make the restrooms in the back of the store available "for security purposes."

Shame on ATT for not looking out for the basic human needs of their customers.

Nonetheless, I was out of there by 9:20AM with a very full bladder and a new iPhone in hand, but unable to activate it because the iTunes network was too busy. After leaving the store and visiting the nearest restroom down the road, I went home and tried numerous times to activate the phone to no avail. At this point, one could say that I'm literally "pissed off" at the whole experience. Hopefully I will be able to activate it soon.

Posted by: Jonathan | July 11, 2008 1:38 PM

why why why would someone waste 11 hours of their life to buy something they don't need, and buy a week or few weeks later with no wait?

Posted by: just wondering | July 11, 2008 1:48 PM

I had waited a week to replace my lost phone. I arrived at 7 AM at the Clarendon, VA Apple store... probably 300 people ahead of me. The line moved fast at first but progressively slowed to a halt at 11 AM. At Noon they announced the purchase & activation system had been down for 40 mintues with no known up-time. Even the sandal and shorts clad groupies started to disperse... and unlike them, I had a JOB to get to. In anguish, I said goodbye to the comrades with whom I had spent the last 5 hrs and did the walk of shame back to the metro.

Posted by: Marc | July 11, 2008 1:49 PM

I got to the at&t at L street and conn. a little after 6 am and was about the 20th person in line. Soon the line stretched down the block and around 18th street. (The first person in line said he had arrived at 11pm the previous night.)

I had my phone in hand and was out the door by 8:45am. I have to admit, the service at the at&t store was great and quick.

A fun experience - chatting with others in line and meeting new people - everyone at that point was in good spirits.

Posted by: cg | July 11, 2008 2:59 PM

First of all, You should stop throwing fits like babies. What did you expect going out on the same day and same time as 10 million other people to buy and activate a product. You all sound like a bunch of whinners. If you would have just waited a couple of days or a week, you wouldn't be having the problem you are. If the time with out your phone was so crucial, you shouldn't have jumped in on the new phone as soon as it came out.This happens with every "FAD" debut of a new product. If you didn't know this was going to happen, your not smart enough to run the IPHONE. Unless its idiot proof too? WOW.. what an amazing product. I'm getting the phone also, but i'm waiting. Whats my hurry? The 10mins to look cool in front of my co-workers because im the only one with it? Just shut up.

Posted by: mad_the_grt_1 | July 11, 2008 4:37 PM

by Jadams91

Posted by: mad_the_grt_1 | July 11, 2008 4:38 PM

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