June 29th, 2007
19:50 I’m exhausted and finally at home. On my way back I passed the Palo Alto/Stanford AT&T store on Page Mill and even at 19:45 (nearly two hours after sales start), the lines were wrapped around all of the building and at least 120 or so people still waiting there. So – would I do this again? YES, definitely. I had amazing coworkers that I’d now call friends with me and we certainly had a blast. While this isn’t something to do every few months or so, it definitely was a very unique experience which I didn’t want to miss. As for the iPhone: report will come later. I’m busy playing with it now! Let’s just say, I ported my number over from T-Mobile to at&t already and am LOVING the email and web browsing.
18:30 Wow – we finally made it to the Apple Store! They were letting people in in batches of about 20 and we were in the front of the fourth badge. After getting in, the process was actually really fast. They set up lots of temporary sales stations and had numerous iPhones on hand. I immediately got two 8GB models. One for myself and one for a coworker of mine, who covered me at work today, where I was supposed to interview a Marketing Director candidate. He was just on the way to the airport when we got out of the store, so he immediately directed his taxi off to Burlingame, where he had his precious phone in his hands just 10 minutes later. Now he had the most painless purchasing experience ever! 😉 For us, I have to say it was really nice to be applauded and cheered at by all the Apple employees when we exited the store. This certainly gave us a warm and fuzzy feeling. Oh, plus the weird guy offering us $1,500 for an iPhone when we got out the store. I have no idea, why no one accepted his offer.
17:10 Well apparently our lamish video didn’t make it to TGIF as planned, so I’ll just post it here instead. Also, the first 25 peeps in line just got cool Apple iPhone t-shirts. They earned it, because those peeps were here hours before us even.
16:50 Okay, it’s bad enough that we’re feeling like fools for waiting so long, but even worse: We just talked to our UI person in New York City, who just straight up walked up to the 5th Ave store and bought one without having to wait more than a few minutes…. Wow… According to him, the wait at at&t stores is ridiculously long, because they force activation IN the store for no reason, whereas Apple sells devices in less than a minute.
16:40 About 1.5 hrs more to go. The line is maybe 250 or so strong by now and we’ve sinced been joined by a fellow Googler engineer (I’ll call him Mike), who just cut in line to join us. Shame on him! 😉 Ah whatever – we’re happy to have him…
16:30 Okay, the surprise was supposed to be that we’d be reporting live to TGIF – Google’s large weekly all-hands meeting, but unfortunately the technology broke down in the last minute 🙁 We recorded a little video instead and am now trying to upload it, but time’s running out to still make that happen.
14:45 I have to say, the Apple folks are managing this pretty nicely. They just brought over water and sunscreen while their colleagues are setting up the store. About three more hours to go. Just refilled the meter in my car again. Let’s hope they won’t tow or something… Also, people are collecting garbage and selling fruit ice-cream, while we’re cool with using the adjacent Peets Coffee restroom. Funnily enough, a nice Asian girl let me go in before her and I asked her if she’s standing in line as well. Her answer: There is a line out there? … er… yea… about 200 people right now chillin’ in the sun!
14:30 We just arranged a surprise for our Google fellows back in Mountain View at 4:30. More to come.
14:00 Apple store is closing for four hours to setup and… get this… eat iPhone cake! I wonder if we’ll get some too…
13:25 The CFO of Apple retail just called a bystander here and is checking on the length of the lines here in Burlingame. It’s about 175 according to them now.
13:20 The crowd is going insane. FedEx trucks are parking in front of the Apple Store.
13:10 First signs of getting bored are coming up in the team. But all in all we’re still holding out strong. Charles is bluetoothing me a few new pics from his Nokia N95. I just hope I won’t get my car towed off of the 2hr parking lot (I continuously fill the meter at the cheap rate of 75 cents/hour). Oh and btw… people here in Burlingame really can’t drive. Sitting next to a parking lot for 3 hrs makes that pretty obvious…That’s all I’ll say 😉
12:45 Let’s just say – that was some yummy Caesar’s with grilled chicken and sun-dried tomatoes… The line is slowly getting longer and is about 100 strong now. Of course the occasional passer-by is still mocking us for waiting in line for so long. Note to self: next time bring two pillows. I now have to decide if my back or my butt should hurt… hm… decisions…
12:10 Nice. A cool, pretty entrepreneurial breakfast/lunch restaurant just sent someone over to take lunch orders. Caesar salad here it comes.
12:00 The kid next to me is getting paid $400 to wait in line to buy an iPhone for his cousin. Caraahaaazyyy… Also, thanks to the technologies of today, we just had a video conference with Scott in Minnesota over HSDPA and iChat.
11:55 Friendly Apple store employees just came over and handed out Smart Water bottles, claiming “This is what Steve Jobs drinks”…An Apple Fan dog also just came over to wait with us in line. Speaking of which, the line is about 80 people according to Apple folks.
11:35 Thanks to the powers of HSDPA, I can actually get productive work done. Haven’t answered so many work emails in like… forever… Apple should have more product intros like this one…
11:30 It’s unbelievable how many people come over and ask you, why you’re waiting in line for 8 hours. Frankly, I don’t know either. Cutest story so far: the 50yr old women next to us who is here from Chicago. No, she didn’t just fly in for the iPhone, but she is waiting in line the whole day to get one. Reason why: her daughter is pregnant and really really wants an iPhone. Oookay..
11:20 Charles and Zhanna, who lives only a few minutes away here in Burlingame, just came back with an umbrella and now four Googlers are trying to somehow install it. With … er… mediocre success I guess.
11:15 We’re just here for about 45 mins and already baking like crazy. Yay for California sun… Note to self: Next time, bring sun screen and an umbrella…
10:30 The wait begins. A fearless bunch of UI and Marketing Googlers, let’s just call them Ulf, Will, Charles and Zhanna are number 50 or so in line at the Apple Store in Burlingame.