Archive Pen & Links

iStill don’t have an iPhone

June 24, 2010

Well I thought I had the right idea when I started my search for an iPhone.

I got word late Wednesday night that the Walmart in Marysville would have iPhones in stock starting at 8 am. After waiting around until 3 am, I found out from one of the managers that even though I was fourth in line, they only had two phones in stock. The three guys that were there brought lawn chairs, water and a steeled resolve not to move.

Instead of giving up hope though, I decided on a lark to try the Roseville Apple Store. It sounded like a good idea at first, but it’s lost its luster after 28 hours without sleep. Unfortunately poor planning has made this more of a headache than it’s probably worth.

Let’s start with outside the mall before it opened. There were two lines stretching from the entrance outward in opposite directions. Nobody knew why there were two lines. There were just two lines.

When the mall opened, the Apple Store reps decided to take a handful at a time from each line. I waited with anticipation to see if I’d get in the door or get the runner-up prize of a couple of hours of sleep. When I finally got in the door I realized that from here they were separating people into those with reservations and those without. The shorter line was those with. The massive human hydra snaking through the mall was my line.

And so we the unwashed masses waited until the store opened at 7 am. There were only just over 130 of us so in theory we would be gone by noon. Then the line didn’t move for an hour. And finally when it did, one of the most sinister plans took place. For every one person that walked in from our line, 30 others went in from the reserved line, essentially grinding out line to a groaning halt.

But wait there’s more!

On top of this, AT&Ts servers took a massive dump. Phone order processing ground to a halt under the server load of thousands of phones being verified. Orders were now going from the typical 10 minutes to a half an hour or more.

The only solace is we’ve been fed relatively well. The Apple Store has supplied us with doughnuts, water and Chipotle throughout the day. Still, lukewarm water isn’t going to make up for the poor planning that’s taken place today.

I’m still waiting in line but if there’s one thing I’ve learned today, it’s this.

Given the choice to get ahead on your bills or preordering an Apple product on the first day, choose the latter. That way you can sleep