No iPhone, Just a Bottle of Water.

By:

The Dude on the Right

So here it is, the big day, probably the most important day in recorded history,
and this morning I decided "Screw it, I’m going to try and get an iPhone." 
Having too many things to do during the day meant camping out wasn’t an option
for the 6PM on-sale time, but around where I live there were three stores I
could show up at, figuring around 5:30 should still be safe to get one. 
Store A was in a developing community where I figured demand shouldn’t be that
huge.  Store B was by the mall, and I figured that store would probably be
packed with all of the crazies who took off work to buy a phone.  Store C
was similar to Store A in terms of demographic, but further away.

So I finish
with the things I needed to do this Friday, I get back to the dude-pad around
5PM, do a quick read of the newspaper, eat some grub, and then decide that I’m
going to take my chances at Store A.  Arriving around 5:40PM there’s a line
around the side of the store, putting me at about the 40th in line.  "They
should be stocked fairly well" I tell myself, and even the people that started
arriving after me figured getting a brand spankin’ new iPhone shouldn’t be a
problem.  It’s 6PM, the doors open to the promised land, and they begin by
letting in 6 people, and then as one leaves, another enters.  The line
isn’t moving that quickly, but I’m still confident I will be home this evening,
iPhone in box, then in hand, then activated, and then I’m cool.  In the
meantime the nice AT&T employees (of which it seems they were overstaffed by
about 5 people for the way they were selling the phone) came out offering
bottles of water.  It’s now about 6:15 PM and the manager-looking AT&T dude
comes out and announces, looking at the number of people left in line, that he
wasn’t sure if supply was going to meet demand, blurbs a little about the
"direct fulfillment program" if they do run out, the ducked back into the store. 
The next round of bottled waters comes out, I decide to grab one, and then the
manager-looking dude comes back out and announces the 8 Gig versions are sold
out.  He starts to talk about how they still have some 4 Gig versions left,
the "direct fulfillment program" again, but I’m already heading to the
dude-mobile, mumbling "At least I got a bottle of water."

What to do?  I
decide that since I’m already out I might as well head to Store B, the one by
the mall, on the slim hope they got a monster shipment of phones.  I
arrive, there are about 20 people still in line, and as I take my place the AT&T
employee starts pushing that "direct fulfillment program" again, and I pretty
much know that tonight, unless I really wanted to take a hell of a chance and
head to The Apple Store, I would go to bed iPhone-less.

And so, tonight, I go
to bed alone.

But wait, I could order it on line and have it early next week? 
That would be good enough for me.  I log in to the Apple web site, click to
buy one, and there’s a little note that says it won’t ship for at least 2 weeks.

I read somewhere that there would be plenty of stock to keep everyone iPhoned,
thus killing the eBay market, but if the AT&T stores pretty much sell out of the
phones in about an hour, Apple won’t ship the phone for a couple of weeks, and
those stores don’t get replenished, like, tomorrow, I’m thinking I really should
have camped out last night and seen if some fool would pay me $1,500 bucks for a
new iPhone.

I suppose I should blame myself because part of the reason I am
iPhone-less is because I decided dinner and reading the news was just as
important as getting in line, and had I actually just gone to the store by the
mall, well, I’d probably have a phone this evening, even taking the time to eat
my dinner and read the news.  But you know what – I’m not blaming myself –
I’m blaming the Apple and AT&T people because I’m guessing the only reason they
are selling the 4 Gig iPhone is because they sold out of the 8 Gig, and if they
had only had about ten more 8 Gig versions at Store A, I would be cool.

Instead I just got a free bottle of water.

That’s it for this one! 
I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

  • Caleb

    You should have stayed and gotten the direct fulfillment!! You get the phone before the online Apple store starts shipping and before the outlets get more, so you have first priority over everyone else.