Decades from now, when I’m reflecting on a long and happy life, I may pause to take pleasure in having been the first person in line to buy an iPhone 3G S. Or, at least, the first person in line for the Apple Store at the Stonestown mall in San Francisco. When I arrived at 3:15am, I found a velvet rope and nothing else. So I parked myself on a bench. And here I am.
I may be the first person in line, but within ten minutes I had company: There are four of us now. My compatriots are a sociable group, which is a relief-last year, when I waited here for an iPhone 3G, I found the wee-hours crowd a tad feral. The second guy in line confused me by asking if I was here to buy one of the new Macs (which were released last week, and which have inspired no frenzied shopping) but also pointed out that there’s another line set up on the opposite side of the mall entrance. That one’s for an AT&T Store–which the fourth person in line explained to us wasn’t here last year–and it’s actually two lines. One’s for people who reserved a phone in advance; one’s for newcomers. Apple, by contrast, will apparently make us all queue up together. But neither has anyone in it so far.
Other notes on the wait so far:
A) There’s a security car parked here, but as far as I know, there’s nobody in it. If this year’s experience mirrors last year’s, we won’t see any sign of mall or Apple employees for quite awhile.
B) The fourth guy in line is on his third iPhone already; he had one that would get red-hot and burn his ear when he tried to use it.
C) I made the mistake of running out of the house without having had a hearty breakfast. There’s an Olive Garden here awash in neon, and it’s making me hungry.
D) The fifth guy in line (who was just joined by a sixth guy) has started an ugly rumor that the Apple Store decided to delay its planned opening from 7am to 8am.
E) The only people here besides us iLiners are truckers. One’s trying to figure out how to deliver something to the Starbucks inside the mall.
F) Update: A couple of skateboarders have just shown up.
G) It’s cold.
More reports as events warrant…