iPhone Rollout: East-Coast Notes

Michael Simon's picture

iPhone Rollout: East-Coast Notes

Thousands of miles from Cupertino and San Francisco, the iPhone rollout still drew enthusiastic crowds.

 

"You know how big iPhone is going to be?" one of my co-workers posed earlier this week. "My son, who doesn't have a penny to his name, is going to wait on line to buy one, pay whatever the monthly bill is, and - he has a Nokia phone that's good through August - pay a fee to break his contract."

 

"How's he going to afford it?" I asked. He just shook is head and rolled his eyes.

 

And judging by the scene at stores around the country on iPhone Day, thousands were willing to pay a similar price to pay for inaugural membership to the trendiest club around.

 

At my local mall, the line at the Apple Store started promptly at 6 a.m. (the earliest iPhone seekers were allowed in) and snaked around storefronts and corners for a solid 12 hours - until the larger-than-life displays read 00:00:10 and the crowd cheerfully counted along. It wasn't a mob scene like Chicago or New York, but for a Rhode Island crowd, it was substantial.

 

Upstairs at the AT&T store, the mood was equally jovial, but decidedly more business-like. At lunchtime, there were plenty of people traversing the Food Court, but no one was parking in front of store formerly known as Cingular.

 

By 3 p.m., however, an employee said there were "a bunch" of customers milling outside. And by 6, a lengthy line of soon-to-be iPhone users were patiently waiting to take their new toys home.

 

But downstairs at the Apple Store, the mood was downright giddy. And the group gathered closest to the main entrance were playing their parts like trained professionals.

 

Of course, as Apple devotees, they probably had been through similar scenes before - grand openings, OS launches, Black Friday sales - but it all felt different this time. It could have been AT&T's role in the celebration that somewhat diminished the feeling of unity that Apple works so hard to foster. Or it could have been the nagging thought that I'd see at least a dozen of these coveted iPhones on eBay within a few hours.

 

Perhaps it was the dozens of annoyed Friday-night shoppers struggling to get through the crowds and muttering, "What's the big deal?" Or it could have been my own isolation, participating in the event as a mere bystander and not one of the lucky ones clutching a little black bag.

 

Whatever it was, there was a definite feeling that a new era had indeed arrived, and Apple Inc. is no longer that wide-eyed underdog from little Cupertino. And as people watched from every level of the Providence Place Mall, there seemed to be a singular phrase echoing beneath the excitement and reflecting off the giant illuminated company logo that lit the way: It's about time.

 

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Anonymous

I like the iPhone but i am not from that persons who are crazy about the Gadgets. I do like to own one, but now i have only PSP. I am happy with it as i can do the favourite thing on it that is playing games and watching movies. I download free movies PSP for watching them where ever i want.

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