The iPhone Odyssey
Penned 13 years ago. 2:16 Reading Time.
Let's just start by saying, that I did not get an iPhone last night. At 5:45 I decided to head out the nearest AT&Terrible store to look at the iPhone... you know see if was actually a useful piece of technology.
I arrived at my destination at 6:00 exactly and I was greeted by this a line that wrapped around the building, it looked something like this:
Not too bad for little old Lexington, Kentucky. By the end there were around 100 people in line, and the store only had 70 phones. Surprisingly there weren't any riots when they ran out.
Want some free water?
Next to the store is a Jewelry store, and two of the employees came over and passed out water to those of us in line, and tried to get people to fill out credit apps for a credit account at the store... silly people. Here's a shot of the two "water girls":
The most intriguing part of the experience, was the AT& Terrible store manager and his loose lips as it were. He spent most of the time telling us all about how Apple is running the show. It never ceases to amaze me how Apple guarentees things like "shortages" and "sell outs".
The nefarious plot
It seems that one of the stipulations from Apple is that AT&T can't do any stock balancing. For those of you who have not worked in retail before, most stores like this will balance inventory in the days after a launch like this, by shifting merchandise from a low volume store to a high volume store.
Apple expressly forbid this practice with the iPhone. Why would they do that you ask? Simple. It creates an immediate shortage of product in the areas that are likely to talk about it. The coming week will feature stories about how the iPhone demand greatly outpaced availability. Apple will have another "must have gadget" that sold out in 30 minutes.
When I left the store at 7:46pm, I heard the manager say that two smaller markets in Kentucky had between them, 80 iPhones just sitting doing nothing. The way it stands, that is exactly how they will stay, since most store managers will not go to the trouble of telling potential customers to go somewhere else for their phone.
The bottom line
So, am I going to get an iPhone? The way it looks now, yes. Having played with one, they are as amazing as the hype leads you to believe. I still don't think they are worth the price tag, but I haven't found a phone that can compete.
I don't plan on buying one for another month or two so who knows, I might find one. I intend to keep looking.