Experiences on line (or in line as non New-Yorkers say) buying an iPhone

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Michelle Steiner, Sep 20, 2014.

  1. Background (which some of you may already know). I ordered a Space
    Gray 64 GB iPhone 6 Plus at about 7:30 on the morning of Sept 12, and
    was informed that it would be delivered in the middle of October, while
    I would be out of town. For various reasons I wanted to have the new
    phone with me on that trip, so I decided to buy one at an Apple Store.

    I live about halfway between Two Apple Stores, one inside a traditional
    mall, and one in an open mall or shopping center. I opted for the
    latter because it was slightly closer and because I've gotten a nicer
    vibe there in the past. Turns out that was not my best decision, but
    more about that later.

    I went to bed at 9 PM Thursday evening, setting my alarm to 3 AM, but
    it soon became apparent that I would not be able to fall asleep, so I
    got dressed and went to the Apple store. When I got there at about
    10:30, there was a line formed and I became about the 100th person on
    it. Being on a line, waiting to buy something, becomes a social
    experience, an I was chatting (not chatting up) with the people around
    me. By 4:30 AM, there were another 50 or so people behind me. I
    didn't bother to count after then.

    At 6 AM, they split the line into two; those who had pre-ordered and
    opted to pick up the phone at the store, and those of us who were
    waiting to buy and who had not pre ordered. (BTW, when I had placed my
    order on line, picking up at the store was not an option.) They did
    not use a reservation system, but were letting people into the store
    directly from the line; this was apparently a last-minute decision
    because they had previously described how the reservation system would

    Based on experience waiting for previous iPhone models, I estimated
    that I'd get into the store about 10 to 10:30 am. Was I ever wrong!!!

    The process was inordinately slow, and waiting times were much longer
    than I had estimated. I found out, from a blueshirt, that the reason
    was that the overwhelming majority of people buying the phone were
    upgrading from an earlier model of iPhone, and that almost all of them
    had not backed up their phone. So before they could restore from a
    backup, they first had to back up to iCloud, and that took a lot longer
    than if they had been smart enough to have backed up before going to
    the store. As a result, I didn't get to buy my phone until 2:00 or
    2:30 PM!

    As the day wore on, it got hotter and hotter; the store kept
    distributing bottles of water and also gave out umbrellas so we could
    shield ourselves from the sun. I give them big props for that. But if
    I had gone to the other store, I would have been inside a mall, and not
    have had that problem.

    As we were waiting in the line, a blueshirt came by with one of each
    phone to let us try them on for size, so to speak. Also, about noonish
    or 1 PMish, I went into the store to charge my iPhone and iPad; I had
    been using them extensively, and both had about 10% battery charge
    left. While there, I was able to handle a 6 and 6 Plus a bit more.
    The Plus felt a bit too large for my and, and felt awkward holding to
    my face as a phone. The latter could be handled by use of Bluetooth or
    speakerphone. (I have one friend who is hearing impaired, and can't
    use BT or speakerphone when speaking with her because they degrade the
    quality.) On the other hand, the six plus has optical image
    stabilization and the screen rotates when putting the phone sideways.

    When I finally got to actually buy the phone, I still hadn't made up my
    mind, so I asked the blueshirt what 64GB phones for AT&T they still had
    in stock. They had every color model of the iPhone 6, but only gold
    for the iPhone 6 Plus. So I opted for the Space Gray 6. I also traded
    in (or recycled, as they call it) my iPhone 5. They gave me $205 in
    the form of an Apple Gift Card for it. Gazelle had offered me only
    $195 if I had the phone unlocked; $170 if locked.

    I have a friend who lives near Hilo, Hawai'i. She went to the Verizon
    Store in Hilo about 6:45 am (9:45 am here in Phoenix), and was 12th in
    line. The store opened at 8 am. By the time she was 8th in line, they
    had sold out all of their 6 Plus models. She wound up buying a 128 GB
    iPhone 6, and had finished hours before I was able to buy mine.

    After I got my phone, I went to a restaurant to eat, and came home, and
    went to bed; I had been up since 5 am Thursday morning, except for two
    or three 5-10 minute cat naps Thursday evening.

    Michelle Steiner, Sep 20, 2014
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  2. Michelle Steiner

    Alan Browne Guest

    On 2014.09.20, 02:35 , Michelle Steiner wrote:


    Nice report. But, really. I can wait to try both and decide which.

    I may drop in Monday (I'll be near the Apple store) and if they have the
    largest memory version of what I want (6 or 6P) I'll get it then or wait
    a month.

    This whole "gotta have it now thing" is an illness. Really.
    Alan Browne, Sep 20, 2014
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  3. if they had sold their last one to the person right before me in the
    line, my attitude would have been, "Such is life."

    Oh here is an addendum to my report: I wore the tee shirt they gave me
    (and lots of others) the day the store opened. Many of the blueshirts,
    including the store manager, commented on it and gave me a thumbs up,
    high five, etc. Their photographer took my picture, holding the phone
    I bought in one hand and a thumbs up in the other. I'm going to ask
    them to give me a copy of it.
    Michelle Steiner, Sep 20, 2014
  4. Michelle Steiner

    Patty Winter Guest

    So even though you had an order in hand, you were placed into the
    "did not preorder" group?

    This is the first I've heard about people being able to reserve a
    time on the first day of a product sale. If that's the case, why did
    anyone need to line up at the store? Did buyers realize that the store
    might not pay attention to the reservations after all? That seems unfair.

    So pretty much everyone was getting rid of their existing iPhone?
    I guess that's what happens when people have cellphone contracts;
    I don't, so I'm not up on the process.

    Nice! Do you have plans for the gift card yet?


    Patty Winter, Sep 20, 2014
  5. Michelle Steiner

    Guest Guest

    they've done that for a few years, but not everyone was able to buy
    online. the apple store came up at around 6am eastern/3am pacific, some
    three hours late. many people didn't bother staying up or gave up
    why keep the previous one?
    Guest, Sep 20, 2014
  6. The "Preorder" group was only for those people who preordered and chose
    to pick up at store instead of having it delivered to their home. When
    I preordered, that option was not available.
    The system, as I understand it, was to give those reservations to
    people in the line so they could then leave the line and know what time
    to return. You could not get a reserved time without being in the
    line, nor could you choose the time to return.
    Apparently, if the story I heard was accurate.
    I used it to pay the sales tax on the phone. I opted for full price to
    be paid over 20 (If I recall correctly) months, with the ability to
    upgrade after 12, so I didn't have to pay anything for the phone up
    front. I'm going to wait to see what they will reveal in October; if
    it's a new Apple TV, I'll get that. I currently have a second
    generation, and apparently that's no longer supported with OS upgrades.
    If they don't have a new Apple TV, I'll probably use it for the next
    model of iPad if that has something worth upgrading from my iPad Air.
    Sans all that, I'll wait until there is something that grabs me.

    -- Michelle
    Michelle Steiner, Sep 20, 2014
  7. Michelle Steiner

    Patty Winter Guest

    They can be handed off to other family members.

    Patty Winter, Sep 20, 2014
  8. A friend of mine is keeping hers as a backup.
    Michelle Steiner, Sep 20, 2014
  9. Michelle Steiner

    Guest Guest

    some people do that.

    others choose to sell it, either via a trade-in (convenient) or sell it
    on craigslist/ebay/etc. (more money).
    Guest, Sep 20, 2014
  10. Michelle Steiner

    Rod Speed Guest

    To give it to one of the kids, sell it, etc etc etc.
    Rod Speed, Sep 20, 2014
  11. Sometimes the human morass reminds me of so many amoeba (i? ae? s?)
    Myself included.
    John McWilliams, Sep 21, 2014
  12. Michelle Steiner

    Lewis Guest

    As is true for most people. Keep in mind, Apple is going to sell
    100,000,000 iPhones in the next 12 months, only 4,000,000 people
    preorded and probably no more than that stood on line to buy them this
    weekend. So, less than 10% of buyers.
    They will be in short supply on the 6 Plus for a month, and on the 6 for
    a week or three, but you might luck out.

    I looked at them today. I dropped the iPhone 6 when I picked it up. It
    bounced off the table edge and was dangling from the anti-theft device.
    If I got one, I suppose I'd need a case as it is more slippery than my
    case-less iPhone 5s (and my case-less iPhone 4S before it).

    The 6 feels manageable, but bigger than I want. The 6 plus is just too
    large. I can't see myself every having one of those unless I never
    needed to leave the house.
    It is silliness to you, but no one is forcing you. It is not silliness
    to many other people.

    The kids are disappointed as they were both expecting to inherent our
    5Ss this year, but neither of us is thinking about upgrading. I might go
    ahead and get them iPhone 5Ss of their own since Apple has left the 32GB
    as an option and I would not consider buying any iOS device with less
    than 32GB of storage.
    Lewis, Sep 21, 2014
  13. Michelle Steiner

    Lewis Guest

    She perordered her phone to be delivered sometime in October. She went
    to try to picku a phone so she would have it before she left on her

    Preorders lines are for in-store pickup preorders. I would have done
    that, but the option was not available when I placed my order, so I had
    to wait until 1700 when the UPS driver showed up.
    time? No. The reservation system they've used for a few years lets you
    tell them ahead of time which device you want and they give you a ticket
    for that deice. This allows them to make sure they have stock on hand.
    Lewis, Sep 21, 2014
  14. Michelle Steiner

    Alan Browne Guest

    I vowed to never put my iPhone 4 in a case. That lasted 2 days. Hit
    the brakes and the iPhone was on the passenger side floor in an instant.
    Bought a dense hard rubber case - doesn't slip.
    I have big hands. I'm not crazy about the iPad. The 6 Plus could be
    the all rounder (yes - I'm aware of the pitfalls of compromise). Some

    - has to be comfortable in my hands

    - has to be comfortable for a 10 minute phone conversation held
    to the ear

    - has to fit in my front pants pocket - including jeans - while
    sitting. I have to be able to pull it out while sitting.

    If the above fails, I'll fallback to the 6 - but I'll regret the less
    capable camera.
    I said "illness". And it is. It is completely irrational to stand on
    line for hours to half a day to purchase a product that will be
    available over the coming months (over a year) at exactly the same price.
    Alan Browne, Sep 21, 2014
  15. Unless there's a valid reason to stand on line.
    Michelle Steiner, Sep 21, 2014
  16. Michelle Steiner

    Alan Browne Guest

    Depends on what "valid" means. You could live w/o the new phone and you
    know it. You mention that you want the phone for a trip in mid-October.
    Chances are very good that a store near you will have the phone you
    want within a week or so if you had waited - or within the week before
    you leave. And it wouldn't be the end of the world if it weren't.
    Alan Browne, Sep 21, 2014
  17. Michelle Steiner

    BobbyK Guest

    Or, unless one simply wants to. I think it irrational to get uptight
    about actions that aren't harmful to others.
    BobbyK, Sep 21, 2014
  18. Michelle Steiner

    JF Mezei Guest

    Last year when I got my 5S, I had to call the store regularly to see if
    there was an off chance they might have some 5s in stock. One day they
    said they had a few left, hopped on my bime racing to the store and got
    on. It took a number of weeks of trials before that day.

    I have a feeling that it may in fact be safer to try to get it on day 1
    because after that, stocks are erratic and stores only get a few
    shipments on undisclosed days and it takes a while before stocks start
    to flow regularly.
    JF Mezei, Sep 21, 2014
  19. True, but if today is any example, who knows when there wouldn't be any
    more lines?

    The irrational ones are those who were in the line for days on end.

    My point being that what is irrational is entirely subjective.
    Michelle Steiner, Sep 21, 2014
  20. And took a chance that they might be sold out before you got there.

    The store where I bought mine received a shipment at about noon or 1 PM
    on the 19th; they would have run out at some point during the day had
    it not arrived.
    Michelle Steiner, Sep 21, 2014
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