Thousands of people lined up to buy the new iPhone 6 on launch day — and I was one of them.
A quick note: Hours before the iPhone 6 became available, I accidentally took a test run to the Verizon store in New York City’s Financial District. It was one of the weirder experiences of my life. In the end, the story is pretty embarrassing, but it’s here if you’d like to read it.
When I emerge from the subway and finally reach the line to the Verizon Wireless store, I notice it's definitely longer than in previous years. I'm the 18th person in line. The people at the front of the line tell me they arrived at 4:30 a.m.
And then there was Sprint -- or rather, the lack of Sprint. For years, Sprint held a location immediately next to AT&T, but only a few people would ever line up in front of their store on iPhone launch day. This year, that store was completely closed.
I start chatting with some of the guys in line. And I do mean 'guys.' The vast majority of people in this particular line are men; in years past, the line was always about 50-50 in the gender split.
I ask some of the guys if this is their first time waiting in line to buy a new iPhone. It is for most people, except for several standing at the very front of the line.
Meanwhile, the line is beginning to form behind me. Some people are able to get some work done this morning.
All of the guys are clearly excited about this phone, although a number of them mistakenly believe the phone will have a sapphire display. I quickly urge them not to drop the phone and find out.
This customer found that out the hard way.
Meanwhile, I get an update from my mum, who's joined my dad in line at the Verizon store. They seem to be doing well.
As Verizon employees walk outside to hand out registration sheets for the iPhone 6, I ask if the company has any iPhone 6 Plus units available. I hear they do, but they're in 'very limited supply.' Eventually, this Verizon store would sell out of the iPhone 6 Plus after the first 10 people entered its doors.
Bad news from my parents: After standing in line all morning, the Verizon store has zero iPhone 6 Plus units for them. Now I feel guilty about standing in line. Here's my dad right before Verizon broke his heart.
My guilt quickly fades as the doors finally open. I'd been bantering with several new friends I'd made in line, but now that the doors are open, it's all business. Everyone is gawking at the door, leering through the giant windows in hopes their stares will help them get inside quicker. Here, you can see a couple of Verizon employees chatting nonchalantly by the iPhone 6 display right before the doors open.
Moments later, I'm in! The process to get the phone is shockingly fast. As my new phone initializes, I ask to see an iPhone 6 Plus. We head over to the display area and I hold the 6 Plus in my hand. I was surprised to see it actually fit in my palm -- and more importantly, the phone looked gorgeous. I still opt for the 4.7-inch iPhone 6, though.
I'm in and out of the Verizon store in less than 10 minutes. I keep my new phone in its box so those vultures still waiting in line don't try and tackle me (I hear I'm easily tackle-able.)
Once I head into the office and restore the phone with my last iPhone backup, I'm ready to go! And here it is, the new iPhone 6 in space grey.
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