Newsletter #450 Preview: The iPhone 3G: Three Times a Charm

July 13th, 2008

Some people suggest our headlines don’t always match the content, but I don’t agree. In this case, the headline results from the fact that I made three attempts to buy an iPhone 3G before I succeeded. I hope you appreciate my dedication to the task, or my stupidity for wasting so much time before I was actually able to buy one.

It all started early Friday morning. I had assumed that the nearby AT&T factory store wouldn’t be inundated with shoppers waiting to buy one. That would seem to be the province of an Apple Store.

But I was totally wrong. When I arrived at the nearest AT&T outlet, nearly 150 people were waiting in line. I walked casually to the rear, asking someone offhandedly if this was the “Star Wars” line? My foolish remark earned a few chuckles and perhaps a number of episodes of rolling eyes.

An AT&T salesperson came by shortly thereafter. He said that they had 80 phones in stock, but nobody budged.

Except me, after I asked the location of the next nearest store.

There, the situation seemed more promising. The crowd was closer to 100, and had begun to shrink rapidly. But nobody from AT&T showed up to reassure anyone that they could actually take an iPhone home. So I had someone reserve my place, walked to the entrance and had a brief conversation with the sole AT&T employee in evidence outside.

As I feared, they said they didn’t have near enough product to fill the demand, but they could take the order and have it shipped directly to the store “in a few days.”

At this point, I was tempted to simply give up the quest, at least for that day.

Story continued in this week’s Tech Night Owl Newsletter.

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