There Were Long Lines For The iPhone 4S No One Has Reported Yet

There Were Long Lines For The iPhone 4S No One Has Reported Yet

Some have noted that the lines for the iPhone 4S on Friday were disappointingly short. Apple might have sold a record 4 million devices in four days, but the launch day lines were nothing compared to those for the iPhone 4 or the iPad 2.

But there was one place where the lines went around the block — and no one seems to have reported it yet.

In most places, the lines for the iPhone 4S were nothing compared to previous Apple product launches. In San Francisco, for example, the 300 people or so that lined up all had their iPhones about 30 minutes after the store opened.

The relatively short lines were due to several factors, including the fact that the iPhone 4S was on sale at a wide variety of outlets and not just the Apple Store — AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, Target, Best Buy, Radio Shack, Walmart, etc.

But more importantly, the 4S was available for preorder, which the iPad 2 was not. That means a lot of customers preordered their phone for delivery by UPS.

But many of those people weren’t home on Friday to receive their order. The crazy lines for the 4S weren’t at Apple, but at UPS late into Friday night.

A friend in the East Bay said he ditched the line at his local UPS and 8:40pm when there were still more than 100 people in front of him.

Look at the photo above. The pickup point is off the frame to the right, near the blue light.

“I estimated about 100 people in line ahead of us, plus 20 or so behind us when we finally ditched the line,” he said.

UPS hasn’t released any numbers about the number of iPhone 4Ss it delivered on Friday, or how late its package centers stayed open on Friday night. We’ve reached out to UPS for some numbers and comment, and will update this post.

Thanks Ken!

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  • Eddyrjsf

    If this was the line at the UPS on Pardee in Oakland, I was there. It did not seem like UPS had much of a game plan and one department was not speaking to the other. The biggest hold up once you got up to the counter was that you were ON the list to receive a package but apparently A LOT of the iPhones that were out to be delivered were not back in time to UPS to be picked up. The rub is that the majority of people (myself included at 10am) received a call from UPS saying to be at this site between 8:30 – 9:30pm to “pick-up” your iPhone. Many people had to wait while UPS was waiting on trucks to get back and drop off iPhone packages. Another issue (some customers got REALLY hot about this one) is that your ID had to correspond with the address for the delivery. There were a lot of people who had IDs that showed a different address, myself included. You could solve this if you had some mail with your name and current address but most peeps in line weren’t aware of that. I got in line at 8:20am and didn’t leave until 10:05pm and there were so many more people behind me in line!

  • Eddyrjsf

    If this was the line at the UPS on Pardee in Oakland, I was there. It did not seem like UPS had much of a game plan and one department was not speaking to the other. The biggest hold up once you got up to the counter was that you were ON the list to receive a package but apparently A LOT of the iPhones that were out to be delivered were not back in time to UPS to be picked up. The rub is that the majority of people (myself included at 10am) received a call from UPS saying to be at this site between 8:30 – 9:30pm to “pick-up” your iPhone. Many people had to wait while UPS was waiting on trucks to get back and drop off iPhone packages. Another issue (some customers got REALLY hot about this one) is that your ID had to correspond with the address for the delivery. There were a lot of people who had IDs that showed a different address, myself included. You could solve this if you had some mail with your name and current address but most peeps in line weren’t aware of that. I got in line at 8:20am and didn’t leave until 10:05pm and there were so many more people behind me in line!

  • itsme nyc

    Is anybody surprised that UPS doesn’t have their act together?! I never ever use them, they are the worst!

  • Mcoyne

    The UPS guy that delivered my phone said their depot received 43,000 phone!

  • Dax123

    my ups guy said 850k. Im guessing thats nationwide, could be worldwide tho

  • djrobsd

    And this is news because?  I feel sorry for all these people who didn’t properly plan… If you’re going to PRE ORDER an iPhone, you might not want to leave the house even for 1 minute on the day you’re expecting delivery…. I’m just saying…. And no, you can’t just to go UPS and expect it to be there if the item didn’t make it to your door step, the trucks aren’t all back at the same time and even if they are, they don’t have any logical system setup for getting your package to you… they are supposed to go back out for re-delivery the next day unless you called UPS and pre-arranged to pick it up… but even then your best bet is to pick it up the next day because the truck might not be back yet.  

  • Aaron

    Lines at the UPS pickup are a nightly affair near by house, even without the iPhone. It’s usually 10-20 people on a normal night; nothing like the 100+ people in line here. Maybe this should let UPS know it really needs to get its after-hours pickup operations optimized.

About the author

Leander KahneyLeander Kahney is the editor and publisher of Cult of Mac. He is the NYT bestselling author of Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple's Greatest Products; Inside Steve’s Brain; Cult of Mac; and Cult of iPod. Leander has written for Wired, MacWeek, Scientific American, and The Guardian in London. Follow Leander on Twitter @lkahney and Facebook.

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