No iPhone, Just a Bottle of Water.


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!!!