iLoser

Contrary to my brain, I decided to head to the Toronto iPhone launch this morning to pick myself up a new, 3G 8GB (I know), iPhone.

Doors to the store opened at 8am and after getting a recommendation from someone who lines up for all of these things (Wii, PS3, Dark Knight, etc), I decided to show up just before 5am. When I got there, I counted the number of people in line and figured that I was number 70.

As the hours passed, the line grew to well over 200 people and when the doors opened at 8am, I figured that in about an hour I’d have my new phone. The line started to move as people entered the store but then we noticed something strange – nobody was coming out. 8 people were allowed in at one time but after about 20 people had gone through the line (and left with their iPhones), everything came to a standstill.

The minutes passed and soon enough, it was 11am. At this point I’d missed two morning meetings and had resigned myself to the fact that only 35 people had been signed up and walked out with their iPhones during the entire time the store had been opened. With about 30 people in front of me and no sign of the line moving (at all), my friend and I left vowing to come back on Tuesday when Canada get’s their next shipment.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m bitter about not writing this from my new phone – however there were some interesting takeaways from the event as a whole:
  • Of the hundreds of people in line, I only saw one woman. Seriously.
  • My guess is that 25% of the first 100 people already had a 1st generation iPhone
  • The media presence was huge – at least 30 reps – including my “linemate” who was a producer for CBC radio
  • 90% of people in line wanted the 16GB
  • There were approximately 120 devices – 40 16gigs, 80 8GB’s.

After returing to the office to cries of “Hey, let’s see the new phone” and “Wow, I can’t believe you went that early,” I realized why things had taken so long – Apple’s iTunes 7.7 update was down resulting in thousands of devices not being able to be activated.

The problem wasn’t limited to Canada either – Gizmodo reported that the shut down had occured on a global scale and carriers – like AT&T – were forced to sell the devices and tell users to activate them at home when Apple corrects the problem.

Here’s the thing. This launch hasn’t been a secret. We’ve known for at least 5 weeks about the date and stories have been flowing in daily about the global launch. Couldn’t we have forseen this issue?

I don’t know. All I do know is that I’m going to have to stare at my Curve for another couple of days. But hey, at least I can make calls on it.

Article with my giant head on CBC

A video of the launch in Toronto
News story about the event
CBC coverage about the plans
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