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Tong ZhangModerator
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Stuck in 6-hour iPhone Line
      #30752 - 07/11/08 12:31 PM

The iPhone 3G isn't for everyone, at least not on the first day. If you had the insight to camp outside of an Apple or ATT store a day before, you look very smart now. But if you got to the line today, you will likely be stuck in a long, long lines.

We dropped by several AT&T stores around Dallas area, the lines were long and had only limited supplies and have sold out most of their stock by mid-morning. The Apple stores here'd have more phones in stock but the wait is about 6 hours thanks the incredible slow and some time not working activaction system. At least they are feeding people free pizza and providing water, coffee and lemonade.

It seems that neither AT&T nor Apple had anticipated the level of high demand of the 3G iPhone. The Apple store staff is telling the customer waiting in line that their stores will continue to receive shipments everyday except Sunday. So if you don't have 6 hours to stand in line today, wait until Sat. Or next week.

More reports to come...


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Jacob_SpindelModerator
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Re: Stuck in 6-hour iPhone Line [Re: Tong Zhang]
      #30755 - 07/11/08 05:27 PM

Hi Tong,

It turns out that it's possible to show up early and still not look so smart.

I showed up to my Apple store at 6 a.m. (2 hours before opening), and I was around #50 in a line that quickly swelled to hundreds and hundreds of people. Even though the line was sometimes slowed to a halt by computer problems, I got to the front of the line by about 9:30 a.m., which wasn't too bad.

The Apple Store people, who require you to activate your phone before leaving the store, were unable to figure out how to convert my existing prepaid iPhone plan to a postpaid plan so I could get the new iPhone, even though I had asked them earlier and they said they would be able to do it. Since this meant they couldn't activate it, they refused to sell me an iPhone and sent me to the AT&T store instead.

The AT&T rep also struggled but ultimately converted me to a postpaid plan. However, AT&T Stores became sold out of iPhone 3Gs nationwide in a matter of hours - so it's back to waiting for me.

Folks, if you have a GoPhone-based iPhone, call AT&T before going to the Apple Store. Explain the situation and ask them to convert you to a postpaid plan. Honestly, I would recommend not even mentioning the word "prepaid" to the Apple Store reps if you can avoid it. Apple Store reps apparently cannot handle GoPhone plan conversions, even if they say they can.

I can't guarantee AT&T will be able to change your plan, or that this will get you through the Apple Store's process without problems - but if you just show up at the Apple Store still in "prepaid mode" like I did, you are most definitely only throwing away hours of your life that could be better spent on Super Monkey Ball.

I'm curious if any of our readers had a similar situation, or perhaps a contrasting one...

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Tong ZhangModerator
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Re: Stuck in 6-hour iPhone Line [Re: Jacob_Spindel]
      #30756 - 07/11/08 08:22 PM

Well, after standing in line for 10 hours, we've got our hands on a 16 gig black iPhone 3G and a 16 gig white iPhone 3G. We will test the phones over the weekend and post some thoughts and videos.

I've never waited for 10 hours to buy ANYTHING and doubt that I will again. But the 3G iPhone is very cool. You can sync with not only iPhoto but also Aperture. How cool is that for a photographer?!

Here are some clips from today's launch day event: very long line...




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Tong ZhangModerator
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Re: Stuck in 6-hour iPhone Line [Re: Tong Zhang]
      #30758 - 07/11/08 08:27 PM

Oh, and not to mention there was a bomb threat during the day where several choppers circling above the mall and bomb squad guys came in a van and blocked off several entrances to the mall.

Nothing bad happened though. It could be a prankster seeing hundreds of people waiting in the mall for the iPhone and wanting to have some fun.


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Jacob_SpindelModerator
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Re: Stuck in 6-hour iPhone Line [Re: Tong Zhang]
      #30760 - 07/12/08 12:16 AM

I'm glad nothing happened. It was probably just Steve Ballmer.

I really wanted to get one today... hrmph.

As an added anti-bonus, converting my plan required a new SIM for my existing iPhone, which requires a run through the iTunes activation process - which is currently down. So I now have no working iPhone at all.

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Tong ZhangModerator
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Re: Stuck in 6-hour iPhone Line [Re: Jacob_Spindel]
      #30762 - 07/12/08 09:09 AM

Ah, Steve, of course. How could I have suspected some teenage? They get all the bad rap and the corporate guy in suit gets away with pranks.


Hope you will get one today. Apple stores definitely have more inventory than ATT store. So they are your best bet. In this case, ATT stores really should have more phones than the Apple stores because there are more carriers questions, decisions and issues than just buying a phone and activate it at home like the last iPhone launch.


Keep me posted and good luck!


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Tong ZhangModerator
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Re: Stuck in 6-hour iPhone Line [Re: Tong Zhang]
      #30768 - 07/12/08 03:38 PM

There were more lines on Saturday at both AT&T stores and Apple stores here. The AT&T stores lines are shorter mainly because their supplies are short and they've run out the 16 gig ones really fast. The line outside one Apple store was long and longest wait was 2-3 hours. But at least the Apple still has inventory. The folks who visited the Apple store for some accessories for their new iPhone were waiting in a shorter line there. One guy told us he waited till midnight last night at the Apple store but still didn't get one. They gave him a voucher and said if he'd show up today he'd get right in.

Saturday line, not bad:



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