My Excellent SIX HOUR iPhone 4 Adventure


Note to self, future self, and general population: Reserving an iPhone for in-store pickup is NOT the fast way to get a new iPhone.

At least it wasn’t this morning in New York, where I just spent SIX HOURS waiting in line for an iPhone 4.

Why did I do it? Because Apple insisted that in-store pickup reservations would only last today.

And because the first half of the line seemed to go by in just an hour! For whatever reason, the last half seemed to take five times as long.

Apple’s retail employees tried to make it comfortable with bottles of water, ice cream, and fresh fruit. But in 90-degree heat, it was NOT FUN.

At least you can re-live it with me in 60 seconds!

It's a beautiful morning in Brooklyn as I leave my house around 7:25 a.m.

Half an hour later I'm at the 14th Street Apple Store in Manhattan

Of course, there's already a line

It goes...

and goes...

and goes...

Finally I am in the back of the line, at 16th Street and 10th Avenue, right in front of Morimoto, the famous Japanese restaurant

These girls are offering cash for old iPhones

Here's a girl advertising an iPhone app

Apple Store employee runs down the line, hollering and clapping, trying to get people excited. (Little did they know there were six hours left.)

Apple Store people confer. Perhaps they notice the line is moving too fast and discuss ways to slow it down.

This girl just got her phone after getting in line at 5:30 a.m. Why didn't I do the maths on that?

Business Guy silently mocking the iPhone line.

Smart Water for everyone!

An hour after I get in line, I pass this gas station. We're finally on 14th Street.

Up there you can see the High Line park.

Someone's hanging out on top of the roof of the nearby Standard Hotel.

And wayyyyy up there is the beginning of the line. Little did I know at 9:30 a.m. that I'd miss an important lunch meeting for this.

Fire truck rolls by, firemen call us crazy.


Reminder that we're still in a semi-active meatpacking district

This guy sets up his hotdog stand. Going to have a good day.

10:35 a.m. Apple spook notices we're moving too fast, engineers line-slowing procedure again.

More cash for your old iPhone

Guy in front of me is on his second helping of this morning's New York Times

11:36 a.m., time for Ben and Jerry's ice cream (Cherry Garcia)

Apple offers up fresh fruit, too

Finally getting somewhere, just after noon. Oh wait, there's two hours left?

Guy in front of me has switched on his MacBook Pro. My iPhone dies and I boot up the iPad.

It's 90 degrees and painful. The umbrellas come out. These guys have been here for 6 hours, by the way.

Hey, it's iPad DJ Rana Sobhany!

1:33 p.m., Almost there...

Next in line...

Just happy to be inside after all that sun

Apple Store employees welcome us to the great indoors, motion for us to head up to the third floor

Up that beautiful glass staircase


And, another line!

Guy tries out the new iPhone 4 camcorder

My perch atop the Apple Store...

Apple Store folks check us in, make sure we've reserved iPhones properly

Here comes my phone out of the back room, a 32 GB iPhone 4

Quick setup and activation

And at 2:19 p.m., we're good to go! Now it's time to head to the office.

First tweet!

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