Okay, it happened. I have the iPhone in my hands. I haven’t opened the box yet. Before I do, I need to describe what the hour between 5:30 pm and 6:30 pm looked like at the Apple Store in Palo Alto. Otherwise, a big part of today’s experience would be left “unaccounted for”.
It was very sudden when the line started to move at 5:30 pm, and for most of us who have been fairly stagnant and sleepless for the last 24 hours, that was a big and unexpected change. But within a few split seconds, we managed to gather the energy needed to run forward and catch up with the line which just stopped at the large glass double door of the Apple Store where many of the Apple staff are gathered, as well as dozens of cameras and video cameras, and hundreds of bystanders.
These 15 or 20 minutes, before the door opened, felt like being in a football stadium with the marching band playing and my favorite team about to show up. There were applauds, laughs, cheers, and a few small speeches (which we couldn’t even hear, or tell if they were reprimanding the crowd or honoring the iPhone). A small heated discussion erupted, which fortunately didn’t develop further.
At 6:00 pm Sharp and as everyone is awaiting this final moment, the first 20 people were invited in. More applauds and more cheers and more excitement! And a few minutes later, the first person came out with his iPhone. This is the young kid who showed up at 9:30 am on Thursday morning to be the first one in line. He was greeted by the crowd like a hero. Then the next 20 in line were invited in. Then the next 20 and here we are walking through the army of Apple staff who were cheering us, directing us to the right counters, and completing the transaction, and handing us the new mysterious device that is going to change the world! The buying process was so well designed, that the line was moving fast, and most important we were all feeling like a won the precious prize, even though every person paid anywhere between 600+ to 1200+ to win this prize, and not to mention the 24 hour camping out on the sidewalk.
And then it happened. Steve Jobs casually shows up at the corner of University Ave. and Kipling street and walks towards the Apple Store. We were too tired at this point to go back and see what will develop. I was happy to just take a picture of this moment, and get back to the 81-day-experiment blog to report the last hour.
Below are a few pictures from the final hour. And now the 81-day-experiment continues with the iPhone. So stay tuned.