Friday, June 19, 2009

First Look: iPhone 3GS

So the day finally arrived. I had to have something new. This was one of the only times I have waited in line for technology. But was it worth it.

Like previous years, it seems, AT&T was disorganized and confused. Multiple lines, frustrated customers, and some walking out empty handed.

I started camping out at 2:30am and was the fourth in line for my local store in Lawrence, KS.

Two of the people in line were "pre-orders" which meant they would get to go into the store at 7am. Other people had to wait until 8am or until after all pre-orders were fulfilled. Everyone was pleasant and polite from about 2:30am until 6:00am.

The first woman in line got there at 11:00pm on Thursday after she got off work. Two high schoolers before me were pre-orders and had their mom in tow.

At 7:00am the pre-order folks started being allowed in the door.

A small disagreement ensued when the store manager said that the rest of us would have to wait until 9am. Never argue with a group of iPhone users who can quickly pull up AT&T's website on their phones, showing that the opening time for the general public was 8:00am!

Around 7:30 the pre-work pre-order crowd started arriving and were aghast and quite ornery that they couldn't just walk in and pick up an iPhone. Never have I been to an AT&T store or Apple store when I could just walk in and be helped; you need to meet with a "host" or "concierge", give them your name and wait in line. One gentleman started getting physical, but quickly realized forcing his way in would probably cause him to loose his iPhone.

Around 8:00am we walked in and I met with the guy with whom I confirmed upgrade eligibility yesterday - except he was wrong, or we miscommunicated. The reduced-price upgrade is per line not per account. A second line on a family plan is almost never eligible, because in their mind it's only a $10 phone. Huh? I pay $225 a month to AT&T and they say my account doesn't generate enough revenue for 2 iPhone 3GSes. Arrrgh. Being the gentleman, I let the spouse get the iPhone and I was quite irate, but realized I was helpless. I wasn't going to pay another $200 dollars. I don't know why, but the iPhone 3GS sounds way too much like the Apple IIGs

Read about the rest of my experience over at TheAppleBlog