The iPhone Line Forms in Denver


Photo by the second guy in line, Vassilis Siomos

I arrived at the AT&T store on Denver’s 16th Street Mall at 4:40 a.m., and–whaddya know?–I was first in line.  I cased the joint yesterday, when a guy at the store assured me that if I arrived at 6 a.m. that would be plenty of time.  The problem is that I woke up just before 4 a.m. and knew there was no hope of getting back to sleep.  Since I live two blocks from the store, and I could see lines forming across the country via Twitter, I figured I might as well amble over here with my lawn chair and briefcase full of gear.

I’m sitting across from the Paradise Bakery & Cafe, where a single worker is talking and singing to himself as he prepares coffee cakes and muffins for the day.  “Do it right, do it right,” he was chanting to himself earlier as he moved at a manic pace while listening to something in white earbuds.

This iPhone launch will clearly be a far cry from the circus of the original iPhone debut on June 29, 2007.  I was first in line that day at the Cambridgeside Apple Store in Cambridge, Mass., arriving at 3:30 a.m. and waiting until evening for the store to open.  Now that was fun! The second guy arrived just a few minutes after I did, and the line grew all day long, covered by media and buzzing with a geek-party vibe.  When the cops finally raised the grate to the store, I strolled in like a conqueror, cheered and applauded by Apple employees including one kid who was literally jumping up and down with excitement.  I made this video to immortalize the event.

I knew last year’s iPhone 3G launch was not going to match the original, but I showed up at Cambridgeside early enough to be third in line.  There were massive server problems, so I couldn’t even get my phone to work until later that afternoon.

The second guy in line showed up at 5:10 a.m. He’s just moved from Chicago to Denver for a six-year surgical residency.  This will be his first iPhone. He’s in for a treat.

It’s beginning to dawn on my how tired I am, so I’ll save the ruminations on why I do this sort of thing for later.  The short story is that it’s fun, and that I love the crackling spirit of innovation which Apple keeps serving up to its fanboys.  There is a nap in my future, and this week’s episode 48 of The Kindle Chronicles podcast.  I brought both my Kindle 2 and the DX in case I have time to do some reading.

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