While I will be getting a second iPhone in a month (which will be Carrie's), my enthusiasm could not be contained and I decided to go get in a line today in order to obtain my long-awaited phone. I confess, I have been eager for a phone from Apple for years now -- I have always hated the phone experience, while at the same time feeling the phone is the only gadget I can realistically carry around at all times (as much as I love my teeny weenie camera). So, the idea of a phone with a user interface that didn't, well, completely suck is undeniably appealing.
I started to go off on a tangent about phones that suck, but that's not what we're here for today. Instead, let's talk about the iPhone buying experience. In a word: amazing.
I thought about going to an AT&T store, as had been hinted broadly was the right move, but instead, I decided to head to The Domain's Apple store here in north Austin. I figured if the line was impossible, I'd change gears, but the idea of buying the phone in an actual Apple store was too compelling. I got there at 4 -- two hours before they were to re-open. I figured that was my max time I was willing to wait, and if it was too nuts, well, at worst I'd order one online.
The line was long when I got there, but not crazy long. I reckon I was #200 or so in the line. The Domain is an outdoor mall, but with plenty of shade, so it was nice to be in this strange outdoor world for a while. It was hot and humid, but there was a nice breeze, and I ran down my poor old RAZR's battery talking to my Mom for an hour or so. After that, I listened to my current audiobook and crowd watched. It was a pretty fully line -- by the time the store opened at 6, I was probably at the 2/3 mark. By the time I bought my phone, the line was back to where it was when I started. So... I suspect we're going to report good sales numbers today :).
Everyone was polite and enthusiastic, and there was a definite energy to the crowd. Once the store opened, the line moved pretty fast -- it probably took 30 minutes for me to actually get in the door, so that was two and a half hours spent total in wait. Inside, they'd set up like they do for the holiday iPod sales, with a very fast path for people who just wanted iPhones. Once you got an iPhone, you were welcome to keep shopping and make a second purchase if you chose. They had different queues for those folks buying 4Gs, 8Gs, and 1 or 2. There were still quite a few stacked up even when I got mine, so I suspect first-day demand will be well met, unlike, say, the Wii (I finally obtained a Wii two weeks ago through a lucky accident, even though it's been out for half a year).
The actual phone is super slick looking -- just a little taller than an iPod, but about the same width. The screen is bright and sharp. The web browsing is all I've tried so far, but it seems to work great -- the double click enlarging is very fast and smooth, and seems to use the web layout itself to inform the resizing. Yes, folks, it's the VERY FIRST EVER use of the semantic web. I already posted my first twitter from the phone -- using the web browser, not SMS. Woo!
And now that I've finished synching and setting it up, I'm gonna go mess with it. I'm pretty stoked!