Today is iPhone 4 day and like the rest of you I got up early today. I’d say way to early since it was 4:00 am and I was surprised to find out that my alarm clock on my iPhone could be set to such an early hour. The engineers at Apple HQ in Cupertino could not have done a better job on that alarm, but for once I was wishing they’d screwed it up since I think it should be a crime for an alarm clock to ring before 5:00 am.
I dragged myself out of bed, got ready to seize the day, and hurried to the local Apple store located outside of Houston in Friendswood, Texas at the Baybrook Mall. The site is just stones throw from NASA and being that we are known as Space City the turn out for the latest gadget was significant. The weather wasn’t particularly great so the Mall kindly opened the doors up an hour early — ouch I thought I’d never get in now. Fortunately for me the line for reservations was significantly shorter and I wasn’t far from the front, but the non-reservation line was out of sight. Completely out of sight and might have stretched to the moon from what I could see.
By the time the Apple store opened at 7:00 am both lines were significantly long so long that I could not see the end of either one. The lines were hundreds of people long. The store was operating the queues such that for every seven reservations allowed into the store only one walk-in was allowed into the store to buy an iPhone 4. Prior to opening store personnel worked the line to confirm our reservations, checked our IDs and checked us in. It was a good possibility that a lot of walk-ins were going to be turned away before the end of the day.
Apple was a good host and provided snacks and drinks. There were plenty of bagels, donuts, cookies, coffee, and water to go around. They even mentioned lunch, but I wasn’t around for that because I had to head to work. This launch was the most significant one I’ve attended and had a huge turn out when compared to the iPhone 3G and the iPad 3G for me. I really wish for iPhone 5 that Apple and AT&T get their act together so that I never have to wait in line again. Receiving an iPhone in the comfort of your own home or office is a lot better.
In Houston it looks like the best place to grab an iPhone 4 was the Apple store, since a poll of local Best Buy, Radio Shack and Walmart stores turned up the fact that none of these retailers had enough iPhone stock. Radio Shacks reported four iPhones two each of 16GB and 32GB, Best Buy about 50 iPhones (no idea of the split), and Walmart stores we contacted had only one iPhone per store. Ironic considering that all these stores were within the Bay Area surrounding NASA and stuff like the iPhone 4 sells like hot cakes here.
Were you part of iPhone 4 day in this or another part of Houston? If so please leave a comment about your experience with buying an iPhone 4 in Houston today.
The photos below were taken in low lighting with an iPhone 3GS so they aren’t the best in the world, but still viewable. Perhaps next year I’ll have my iPhone 4 ready to go with its better resolution and flash and get some better pictures. A real camera might have been nice, but a good iPhone shopper travels light.