The iPhone went on sale last Friday. Easily the most hyped product this year, the latest gadget from the wizardly engineers and designers at Apple — they dropped the Computer from their name a few months ago — is a hybrid mobile phone/Web browser/iPod. (Reviews for the $500-$600 device have been mostly favorable. We’ll have a review of the iPhone on EW.com later today.)
But what I want to talk about are the lines of customers who waited to buy these iPhones — some of whom had staked out their places 100 hours (that’s more than 4 days!) before they went on sale. This has been something of a common occurrence over the past 9 months: hordes of anxious fans who choose to brave the elements, forgo sleep and showers (granted, not an undue hardship for a few), and endure the wondering stares of bemused passers-by. All for the chance to be among the happy few to walk out with an expensive new toy. It happened with the Nintendo Wii, the Sony PlayStation 3 (which also drew an enterprising butcriminal element), and now, the iPhone.
Waiting in lines is, for the most part, a grim and monotonous experience. It practically defined life in late-era Communist Russia. But it is also is a pretty good test of one’s commitment and level of enthusiasm. Okay, so here are my questions. What’s the longest you’ve ever waited in line to make an entertainment-related purchase? And have you ever waited in line — for, say, more than 30 minutes — to buy something other than movie or concert tickets?