Segments: Slices from the Macintosh Life
The Hunt for an iPhone
For me, the hunt for an iPhone began two and a half years ago. Two and a half years ago? you might be thinking. What is Chris smoking? The iPhone wasn’t even announced two and a half years ago. You’re right. But what happened two and a half years ago was that my Sony Ericsson T616 was starting to fail. It was dropping calls, and this wasn’t because of Cingular’s service. The Bluetooth was failing to stay connected with my headset. The phone was dying, and I needed a new one.
My hope was that under my phone insurance plan that I could get a SE T637, the at-the-time replacement for the T616. Alas, the insurance provider had no Sony Ericssons to offer, so I was given a “feature-compatible” phone, a Motorola v551. It was hate at first use. The user interface, and especially the address book, really stunk it up in comparison with the T616. And the keypad felt second-rate, too.
In the intervening time, the v551 failed, and was replaced by a v557, which was in use until Friday, June 29, 2007. That date may mean something to you, since it was the release date for the latest from Disney and Pixar, Ratatouille.
Oh, and Apple happened to start selling the iPhone that day.
Back in late December, I was about the pull the trigger on a new Sony Ericsson phone. However, a friend who closely monitors the mobile phone biz hinted that I should at least wait until Macworld Expo in early January. “Just in case.”
So Steve announces the iPhone, tells us it’s coming in June, and my wait for a new phone increases by six months. When you’ve waited two years, what’s another six months, right? Well, when you know what’s awaiting you at the end of those six months, it can be as torturous as the previous two years!
Needless to say, the morning of the 29th saw me pretty antsy, but unlike thousands across the country, I wouldn’t be camping in line outside an Apple or AT&T store. No, I would be taking care of the lawn maintenance for the homestead. You see, I live in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, and Friday the 29th was the first day in ten that we didn’t have any rain. (We were set to beat a record for June rainfall that’s stood since the 1920s, but ended up falling short by four-tenths of an inch.) So a good chunk of my day would be spent edging, weed-whacking, and mowing.
However, the mower did require gas, which required a trip to the gas station, which led to a roundabout drive past the local AT&T store: already about seven people in line. No problem, I thought.
Problem. By the time I was able to get away from my husbandly and fatherly duties at home, it was 9:00 PM. The AT&T store was open until 10, but they were completely sold out of iPhones. A call to the Southlake Apple Store revealed they were out of 8 GB units, but still had plenty of 4 GB models. I went to the next closest Apple Store on my call list, the one at Willow Bend, and this time struck gold. Plenty of 8 GB units, a good number of people in the store, I was told, but no line.
I arrived at the store about ten minutes to ten, and without any hesitation, walked right up to the counter in front, telling the young lady behind it, “Eight gig me.” She laughed, reached down, and came up with an iPhone box in her hand. She used a handheld register to check me out, offering me the option of printing a receipt, or having it e-mailed to me. I went with the e-mail option, more for the novelty of it than anything else. The message was in my in box by the time I got home.
I briefly wandered the store, amazed at what the staff hath wrought earlier in the day, when the store was shut down. All of the art and photographs on the side walls had been replaced, with every panel featuring the iPhone. It seemed just about all of the product islands, normally reserved for MacBooks, Pro and regular, iPods, printers, and hard drives, had been overhauled to feature iPhones, iPhones, and more iPhones, and there were people gathered at each and every one.
So that was it. No long hours spent waiting in line. Just a couple of phone calls and about an hour’s worth of round-trip driving. My hunt was over, my game bagged, so all that was left was to head back to camp to dress it. Er, head back to the house to activate it, as it were. While the activation process wasn’t as short as it’s been for some, it certainly wasn’t as long as it’s been for others. It took about fifteen minutes, and the phone I’ve waited two and a half years for was live.
Watch for a full review next month in the pages of ATPM!
Also in This Series
- About My Particular Macintoshes · May 2012
- From the Darkest Hour · May 2012
- Shrinking Into an Expanding World · May 2012
- Growing Up With Apple · May 2012
- Recollections of ATPM by the Plucky Comic Relief · May 2012
- Making the Leap · March 2012
- Digital > Analog > Digital · February 2012
- An Achievable Dream · February 2012
- Smart Move? · February 2012
- Complete Archive