June 30, 2007 - iPhone Calling
Crowds of iWanters and iTraders lined up in front of Cingular, errr.. AT&T, errr… Whatever stores (iStores, we'll call them) all over Santa Barbara on Friday to be the first coolest kids on the block to own the hottest electronic gadget to hit the streets since Tickle Me Elmo - the iPhone.
Like Star Wars fans waiting for a prequel, the iWaiters brought chairs, computer games, and junk food to keep themselves entertained for their extended sidewalk stay. But did they act out scenes from old Apple commercials? No. Did they joust with iPods? No again. These gadget junkies were a mellower bunch than the Star Wars fans.
In fact, some of the youngsters waiting in line admitted to be only interested in making a quick iBuck. Immediately after purchasing their new browser/iPod/phone combo device, they were planning to put it up for sale on eBay! Truth be told, us dedicated staffers felt like we had more fun counting Star Wars followers. Or made more fun. Whatever.
On Friday, the dedicated staff of edhat.com visited the iStore by Costco in Goleta and the one by La Cumbre. At noon in Goleta, there were twenty-seven people waiting in line for an iPhone. The determined individual in the very front of the line had arrived at the iStore at around three o'clock on the previous afternoon and had stayed in front of the store overnight.
At the iStore by La Cumbre there was controversy over who the first person in line really was. A teenager had staked out the front early on Thursday morning, but when his mom showed up (because you had to be over 18 to make a purchase)
she thought that between the two of them they could get two phones. Sorry Ma'am, mommy and me (or mommy and I as the case may be), doesn't hold any weight with the wait in line crowd.
The line at La Cumbre was not as orderly as the one in Goleta. We would estimate that there were 50 people there at 1:00PM.
Apple and AT&T were not letting the iCat out of the iBag about how many units would be available at 6:00PM for purchase, and the dedicated staff didn't stick around to see if everyone was going leave happy and iPhone home. But, we did get a call from an Edhat subscriber we met in line at Goleta. He said that by the 6:00 iWitching hour there were over 100 people in line, but at number 15 in line, he was the very last person to get a 8GB iPhone. Whether the rest of the people bought the 4GB version or went home empty handed, he didn't know. But, he did send us a picture of his phone (above).
And, if you look at eBay today, you'll see MANY offers of new iPhones for sale for hundreds of dollars more than the retail price. $1000 for a phone!!!! iThinkNot.