So Thursday night at around 1030pm I got in my car and headed to the mall. I was insane. You see unless you are going to a late movie or a midnight release there is absolutely no good or sane reason to be headed to te mall at that time. What I was about to embark on neither good, sane, rational or even normal. I was heading to the mall to stand in line at the Apple Store ahead of the iPhone 6 launch THE FOLLOWING MORNING. The store would not open until 8am Friday morning. That’s a total of 9 1/2 hours, overnight, in a closed mall, for a phone that I am not guaranteed to get. To most people this is nuts. However for me it was a first and something I felt I needed to experience once in my life.
As of 1030 when I arrived there were already 30 people in line making me number 31. This had me excited as I have worked for Apple and knew they would certainly have enough product to ensure I got a phone. When I arrived I quickly realized I forgot the most important thing to staying over night, a blanket. Luckily I have an awesome Batman fleece tie blanket my wife made me. More importantly the people around me were super cool and watched my shit while I ran back to the car thus holding my place in line
The first hour or so was awkward. It reminded me a lot of summer camp or college freshman year. Everyone was nice and said hello but no wanted to small talk. However that quickly went away when the realization set it that we were going to be together for a while. I learnt that the couple in front of me had driven 2 hours to wait in line. I inquired if they had an AT&T (their wireless carrier) locally. I was informed that they found out how limited that particular store would be in their inventory and they would have what the couple wanted. There was a group of 20 year olds in front of them. We learnt that only one of them was actually getting a phone and the other three were merely there for moral support which I thought was good of them. Through out the night various people walked up and down the line taking video which was fun. I did the same around 5am.
Around 2 or 3am I decided to lay down at my “camp site” and watch a couple of episode of Doctor Who I had downloaded on to my iPad and I wound up getting about 90 minutes of broken sleep. It was at 4am that the fun began. Up until this point the Apple Store was lacked out by a curtain. Well the staff finally removed the black curtain revealing the new iPhones to us for the first time. Everyone at some point went to the window to get their look at the phones and take pictures.
Apple staff had been coming and going all night and at about 530-6am they started to pass out bottle water, coffee and juice. I have never wanted a cup of coffee so badly in my life at this point. They informed us that they would be beginning the reservation process shortly. This is the process in which you decide which phone you want ( iPhone 6 or 6 plus), which color (space grey, gold or silver) and finally what size (16GB 64GB or 128GB). Once you decide they reserve that specific product for you, and you had until 830pm to return to purchase the phone. I like this system because you knew before you went in if you were getting a phone after all that time waiting. After this process the line thinned out and people left because they knew they had until 830 that night to return. I waited because fuck I had all ready been their since 1030 the night before.
Apple opened their doors at 8am. at this time they had split us into 2 different lines. 1 line for those who already pre-ordered and purchased their phone and the other was the rest of us. They were moving the pre-order line rather quickly because their line only required phone activation as the financial transaction had already occurred. The line for the rest of us, however, never really moved. At about 1030am, 12 hours after I started waiting, I sent my wife over to the sprint kiosk to inquire if they had phones. They had exactly what I wanted. So i got off the line that wasn’t moving, went over to Sprint. They gave me $233 buy back credit for the iPhone 5 and sold me my iPhone 6 in about 30 min. So after all that waiting I never go to go into the Apple Store to buy my phone. Oddly, I was not disappointed in this as the experience of waiting was worth it.