Got to the Short Hills, NJ Apple Store at about 12:30 and there were about 60 people hugged around the wall and snaked around the mall in front of me. Brilliantly, I picked up a chair that I was going to use for the PS3 launch (you know, one of those expandable things) but I felt sort of elitist watching everyone else standing up and sitting down (and then laying down as time dragged on) but I’ve been through this before (Xbox 360, PS2, Dreamcast, Nintendo Wii, PSP, etc.)
The best thing about waiting was that two of my best buds from my old job came down and spend some time with me. You know you have good friends when they’ll stand and talk with you on line for an hour while you wait on the geek line — and they’re not even getting the phone themselves. Dwan, Alf – you guys are the best.
Very interesting group of folks that I waited with. I was in a bit of a ‘don’t-feel-like-chatting’ mode on Friday, so I just kinda observed. One thing about Short Hills is that it’s located in a very posh area of NJ. Put it this way — there’s no food court. You just kinda have Au Bon Pan and other upscale and overpriced places to dine. But it would seem that this was the best place to wait because combine the Mac-ish 60s culture with rich folks who can’t conceive of taking something that isn’t yours and you have probably the exact opposite of the 5th Ave. Apple Store experience. Lots of people were leaving their laptops unattended while they went to the bathroom. Very cool atmosphere in Short Hills.
Very bohemian atmosphere, but what else would you expect from the Mac culture. It was actually kind of annoying. They spend their time trying to explain everything to you as if nobody else reads the rumor sites…. I stood next to a kid and his dad. The kid was cool — had a Dell XPS 17″ (the screen was incredible) and he connected to the wi-fi and played World of Warcraft right there next to me. (Now I know why I’ll never play — it looks nice, but I spend my life wasting time in enough ways — no need to add yet another thing to the list.) I saw tons of MacBooks and MacBook Pros. And lots of people bending the hinge on the screen back a bit too far. (No wonder there are so many folks in line for the Apple Geniuses).
One thing I observed was the number of children and parents waiting in line for children. Crazy. A $500-$600 phone for your kid — and you have to sleep in line for it?? (I guess I’d do it for my kid too, but it’s amazing to think about the lengths to which parents will go). And of course, you just know kids are gonna end up getting em stolen or some other careless thing and then you’ve waited and spent $600….for nothing. Anyway…
The store employees would come out and hand us “Steve” waters. What’s that? Oh, a “Steve” water is the Vitamin Water bottle that Steve Jobs caries around and swigs off of during MacWorld keynotes — usually during the demos. (“…and you just click on it…and then…boom! <siiiiip.>)
When 6pm hit, they did a countdown and everybody gathered their crap and started moving up. They let about 15 folks in the store at a time and they roped off all of the stuff and directed you straight to the phones. “4 Gig or 8 Gig?”. They even had sales people with wi-fi registers to ring you up right there in the middle of the floor. Eventually I came out of the store with one — (thanks to God. Truth be told, I probably didn’t deserve to. Not because the phone is supposed to be so great. It’s just that God has been really good to me despite some of my actions.)
I will give my impressions in a bit, but there’s one small problem that’s in my way….. (read the following post….)