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« Cutest New iPhone Application | Main | More on Disch »

July 11, 2008

Waiting for the iPhone

Donald Pittenger writes:

Dear Blowhards --

Today Apple launched the new smaller, cheaper iPhone. So my daughter, who has a serious desire to own one, and I drove over to the local Apple Store. Apparently the place opened at 8 a.m. and we arrived a few minutes before nine. There was a line of perhaps 175 people stretching across the parking lot. My daughter surveyed the scene and said "No way!" or words to that effect, and we went home. I happened to be in the area again towards the end of lunch hour and noted that the line was almost as long as it was in the morning. The Apple Store was handing out water and Starbucks coffee to ease the pain of waiting.

I must lack imagination, it seems. That's because I can't imagine why anyone would spend a few hours in line for a gadget that they could buy without waiting if they shopped after the initial surge was spent.

What I can understand is being the very first customer in the door -- provided that local newspaper and television station reporters are there to take pictures and reward with Everlasting Fame. And what's the reward for being the second customer? Or even a first-day buyer? Yeah, bragging rights. But why stand in line for hours so that you might be able to tell about it to your grandchildren or even your sorority sisters in the fall?

Surely there must be more to it than bragging rights. Whatever it might be, however, I don't get.



posted by Donald at July 11, 2008


Among the technorati, there is incredible prestige in being the first to own the newest, trendiest tech toy.

The younger among us will stand out in lines for this privilege. I want to see whether the damned thing evidences any serious problems in its first six months of life.

I own the old iPhone. A great gadget, with one dreadful flaw: it is not Flash enabled.

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on July 12, 2008 10:58 AM

Presumably, if these people weren't waiting in line, they would be doing work of some sort. That might be the appeal right there.

Posted by: includedmiddle on July 12, 2008 11:03 AM

Waiting in line to get things of which there is no scarcity is one of the best ways to build white person credibility. It's win-win, not only do you get your overpriced status marker, but you also get the additional status of being able to tell the story of how you endured the hardships of waiting outside a store for X number of days. Clearly you have proven your white person mettle by overcoming the ordeal.

Posted by: . on July 12, 2008 10:01 PM

Surely there must be more to it than bragging rights. Whatever it might be, however, I don't get.


Posted by: JewishAtheist on July 13, 2008 8:56 AM

Cute vid of a reporter trying to jazz up his coverage of the iPhone morning:


Posted by: Michael Blowhard on July 14, 2008 2:09 AM

For the same reason that people line up to go to concerts. Why bother lining up (or even buying at when you can just get the CD? Same experience, right?

Posted by: Nevermore on July 14, 2008 2:50 AM

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