iPhone launch day is probably my favorite "made up" holiday of the year. I do not enjoy waiting on line for hours and missing precious sleep that I need so much. I do, however, enjoy having the newest and greatest iPhone the day it comes out and rubbing it in everyones face. Yea, I'm that guy. I think waiting for hours upon hours earns me that right for the first month or so. Anyway, I wanted to walk you though my launch day experience.
Once iOS 7 was shown off, I immediately decided I wanted a White iPhone. iOS 7 looks so much better against the white display in my opinion. The minute the images of the Gold iPhone were leaked I wanted it. It looks beautiful with the white front and with iOS 7. I was even jokingly telling people they would have to start referring to me as "Goldmember". Days before the launch, rumors were rampant that the Gold iPhone would be hard to get. I was still debating between going to the Apple store or my local Verizon store (I have previously had good luck at Verizon). I called four Verizon stores, none would confirm if they had Gold. With that, I decided to sit at the Apple store.
I was on line at the Bridgewater Mall Apple store at 3:30 AM. I was ridiculously tired. I could not get any sleep because I was excited & nervous for the launch. I was about the 25th person in line so I figured I had a good chance at grabbing the Gold iPhone. It was a little chilly, 55º or so, so I was happy that I brought my jacket. I knew that I would be waiting for a while so I did not bring anything to eat or drink because I didn't want to lose my place in line after running to the bathroom. After about 30 minutes, the line size grew by 15 people. Before I knew it the line was up to about 60 people. I made a few friends while waiting, just talking about Apple, what phone they were hoping to get and if they have ever done this before. I also saw and heard something that annoyed me. First, was a guy that was ahead of me was talking about taking as many vouchers as he could then sell them to people in line that could not get what they wanted. I really dislike scalpers. There was also a group of people that were doing the same thing, talking about it as they walked by. Thankfully, the group of people were behind me, about 65-70 people back.
Around 5:30 or so, there was an Apple Store employee that came out and was doing a head count and doing a survey on what people were getting. When she got to me I said Gold and asked what their supply was like. She was not specific but said there were a lot of people looking for it. That made me worry.
At 6am, we were allowed into the mall. We were specifically told if anyone tried cutting in line they would be escorted to the end of the line. We were all escorted from the entrance to the Apple Store. Around 7am, they started giving out coffee and water. At 7:30am, the staff started passing out vouchers. The first employee was passing out iPhone 5C vouchers. I think ten of those were passed out. Everyone clearly wanted the 5S.
After they went through the line with 5C vouchers, they started with the 5S. Within minutes, they were out of the Gold iPhone. I heard one of the employees say they only had about 10 of them. By the time it was my turn for a voucher, selection was very limited. There were plenty os Space Grey iPhones, mostly in 64 GB versions, 16 and 32 were about the same. As for the White & Silver, they were almost as constrained as the Gold. They had no 32GB versions, a few 16 GB, and two 64GB versions. I grabbed a 64 and the girl behind me grabbed the last one.
At 8 am the store opened and the line moved fast. I was in the store by 8:10 and on my way home by 8:30. The Apple Store employee that was assigned to me (Mike) was very nice. He grabbed me a dock and went into the back to grab my phone while I waited at the display table. I was playing with the Touch ID sensor and checking our the Gold and Space Grey iPhone. They are both nice phones, but I still like the Gold better. It may be hard to imagine, but it looks so much better in person than in the photos. Mike came back with my iPhone and we started the set up and checkout process. That was easy and painless, with the exception of spending just over $400.00.
After I left the store, I went right over to the Ghost Armor stand and had the back and side protection applied. I highly recommend it if you are not going to use a case. Check here for more information. Earlier I said I was set on a Gold iPhone. Just before, they started passing out the vouchers I checked twitter and saw that online shipping was pushed to October. I was debating in my mind should I wait to get what I really wanted or should I settle. I decided that I was not waiting on line since 3:30 for nothing so if they didn't have the Gold iPhone, then I would settle on Silver.
Overall my experience at the Apple Store was great. There was a guy that aggravated me because he let his friend join him on line but otherwise no major problems. I got the second choice of iPhone I wanted, made it to work on time and I had the latest technology available from Apple in my hand. I will be posting some reviews a little bit later so stay tuned. Did you get an iPhone 5S or 5C on launch day? If so share your experience in the comments and let us know how it went for you. Check out my twitter timeline below for a few pictures I snapped while waiting.
UPDATE: I really wanted the Gold iPhone and I kept checking stores. I lucked out and found that the Best Buy in Bridgewater had 2 64Gb Gold Verizon phones. I got in my car after work and drove there. I was a little nervous, worried they were going to sell them. When I called earlier to ask about it and see if they could hold it I was told no and they only had 1 left.
When I got there I practically ran into the store and was on line at the wireless section. There were 3 people already being helped and nobody else on line. One of the Best Buy employees asked if he could help. I said I here for the new iPhone on Verizon. He said only had Gold in 64GB. I said thats perfect. After waiting about 15 mins an employee was finally able to help. This was a painful process.
The employee was not fully informed on what he had in stock. When I told him what I wanted he said they would have to order it. I said no, the other gentleman said you have it and they began to argue. My rep finally opened the cabinet to revel not 1 but 3 Gold iPhones. After multiple interruptions the transaction was complete and I was on my way home with the original iPhone I wanted.
Bottom Line: Buy at an Apple Store when you can for the best customer service. Second Choice should be a carrier store. Last option should be a Big Box store as they are only concerned about making the sale and are not always knowledgeable.