Today, I waited in line, on launch day for an Apple product for the first time. I'm sure many readers have done such a thing before, but this was my first experience, and I thought it might be interesting to share some of the more exciting moments from my day in line for the iPad 2.
I decided to get the iPad at the Apple Store in SoHo, NYC. It's a flagship store, but isn't as insane as some of the other NYC locations (No one sold their spot for 900$) My friend William and I arrived just after 6 AM, just after the heavy rain showers had passed over the city, and found ourselves with only ten people in front of us. Our was to be about eleven hours.
I spent the day with some extremely interesting characters. The first: a man, missing many teeth, in a ragged pin-stripe suit (with matching fedora), who we realized later was selling spots in front of him (likely via craigslist). Nonetheless, when not on the phone lining up potential 'clients,' he pranced around exclaiming his excitement, while never seeming to know too much about the product he was waiting for. He ended the evening in a triumphant and impromptu vomit into the corner trashcan.
The next, a young artist, who arrived shortly after us, who set up an easel, propped up his iPad, and began painting the scene on the iPad. He drew some of the biggest crowds of the day. Here's his work in progress:
As 3:30 approached, we realized that we certainly were not tenth in line at all. We had suddenly slipped to about thirtieth. The few people in line had snuck "family members" in front of us while Apple employees were busy remaking the store for the launch. When employees re-appeared, it was too late. We were informed that what often happens at product launches is that "non end-users" (or resellers) use each other to secure as many products as possible, and of course the iPad 2 was no exception.
Nonetheless, we were escorted in at 5 PM, and a sea of blue-shirted employees greeted us with cheers and blasting music, and I was out of the store by 5:15 with my new iPad (White 32 GB 3G AT&T). The experience was overall a great one, particularly because it ended up being a beautiful day in Manhattan, and the characters only added to the excitement of purchasing Apple's latest and greatest.
I write this only to give readers an idea of some of the more interesting aspects of product launch day's at Apple retail stores. And in case any of you are wondering how I like the new iPad? In a word: awesome.
Happy iPad 2 launch everyone! Here's some more pics from the launch: