I'll start by saying I am no better than any of this (because I want one too), but the current madness that surrounds the recent launch of the iPhone 3G has been quite an experience first hand. If you have been living under a rock lately, the iPhone 3G is apple's latest toy that was released this past Friday. It is essentially the same as the original iPhone that made its debut this time last year, just a tad faster.
I thought sure, that's a cool phone, and now that the price has halved since last year I might pop over and buy one. I figured it would be a pretty popular item down here in Miami, (where you are on the bleeding edge of fashion/gear/douchebaggery or you eat lunch at your own table) so I planned on getting there when the store opened.
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My first warning sign should have been seeing the people SLEEPING at the AT&T store on Thursday. I showed up on opening morning only to see 120 or so people sitting in lawn chairs in front of the store. It was a little unnerving seeing how many people were skipping work to get this phone. I opted out of waiting in line for 6 hours to get a new cellphone, which seems like a pretty normal reaction, but at that particular moment it was 120:1 in favor of me being stupid.
The next day I went to visit my father at work and we went to get a coffee at the shopping center next to his office building. I thought it might be interesting to see the chaos at the apple store there so we walked by. WOW. A good 36 hours from launch there was a line that was over 200 strong sweating and waiting patiently in the sweltering heat. I was shocked to see the amount of people that were rallying around a single object. Sure, I have seen the craziness that surrounds shopping during the holidays, but that is more like a consumer holiday. This single phone, this jesusphone, has managed to bring nerds, businessmen, and housewives together into a sweaty, gadget lusting orgy. Rarely can you witness such large scale exhibits of patience and dedication. It's a bit ironic though, because it seems that sometimes we can summon up the patience required for a little instant gratification. In summary: the iPhone defeats a failing economy with a roundhouse.