If you thought that the hype was settling down, guess again: iPhone-hungry masses lined up outside Apple stores around the world Thursday, eager to get their hands on Apple’s latest smartphone.
“The line is longer than expected. I wish they had it more organized by time frame like they do at the genius bar,” said Robert Arnold-Kraft, a line waiter outside Apple’s downtown San Francisco store.
“My legs are already cramping up. It’s almost been two hours. This launch is bigger than a blackout sale,” said Joseph Canino, in San Francisco.
“The line here is about 2,000 people deep! Ughh,” tweeted Sandra Saldivar, in Modesto, California.
In fact, the launch of the iPhone 4 may have drawn the largest crowds ever. In New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Tokyo, Paris and London, thousands of would-be customers queued up, some camping out overnight, to get a chance to buy the phone.
They’ll need some luck. Apple reported receiving more than 600,000 pre-orders for the phone, in a presales rush that swamped AT&T’s and Apple’s web servers and led to countless customer complaints.
Some customers lucky enough to place their orders successfully, and smart enough to choose at-home delivery, started receiving their phones as early as Tuesday. Those who chose to pick up their pre-ordered phones at an Apple store had to wait in line today, although there are separate lines for pre-orders and for customers without pre-orders. And the unhappy few who chose to pick up their phones at an AT&T store may have to wait until next week.
If you’re in line now and don’t have a reservation, you may be looking at a long wait. Apple employees estimated a six- to seven-hour wait for nonreservation customers, according to Lun Esex, waiting in line in San Francisco.
According to some estimates, Apple may sell as many as a million iPhone 4s today, a clear record. By contrast, it took the original iPhone 74 days to hit a million, and the iPhone 3GS took a whole weekend to reach that number.
Problems have already started to crop up. Many customers are reporting that the iPhone 4 loses signal strength when you touch the lower-left corner of its external antenna band. Some customers have complained that the iPhone’s high-resolution display exhibits yellow discolorations. And Apple has said that the white version of the iPhone 4 will be unavailable for at least 3 weeks, prompting some grumbling.
A large crowd stands in line outside the Apple store in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, early Thursday waiting to buy the new Apple iPhone 4. (Mel Evans/AP)
Still, waiting in line is worth it for some.
“Pre-ordering your iPhone is like getting the T-shirt without going to the concert,” said iPad DJ Rana Sobhany in a tweet. “The waiting and anticipation is part of the fun.”
“I feel excited, cold and insane,” said Juliet Hoffman, who was near the front of the line in San Francisco at about 9 a.m., after waiting for three hours.
Others were less excited about the onslaught of new iPhone customers, given that AT&T’s network is already stretched to the limits.
“So *excited* to know there are about to be 500k+ more iPhone users on ATT starting today. Never thought I would be a network NIMBY,” tweeted Alexander Rose, executive director of the Long Now Foundation.
Evan Wiendczak, foreground center, from Boston, waits as the first person in line to enter the Apple flagship store in New York Thursday morning to buy his Apple iPhone 4. (Richard Drew/AP)
Top photo: Customers line up to buy Apple’s newest iPhone outside an Apple store at the Ginza district in Tokyo on Thursday. Hundreds more lined up across the city at Apple stores and other Softbank outlets.
Additional reporting by Brian X. Chen.
Below is a video shot by Wired’s Missy Schwartz, showing a fraction of the long line outside the downtown San Francisco Apple store.
Fuente: Gadget Lab