If you read all the press on Friday, it sounded like a full-out iPocalypse as Apple’s in-store activation of the iPhone failed, which left a bunch of people steamed. I left a Summize search for [iphone] up in my browser; there were probably 10K+ twitters on Friday that mentioned the iPhone.
By afternoon I noticed that Twitter complaints about the activation and 2.0 firmware were dying off, so my wife and I decided to do a “date night” to wait in line for an iPhone at Valley Fair Mall in Santa Clara. We showed up at 3 p.m., waited in line for two hours and 45 minutes, and had our iPhones ready and activated by 6 p.m. The line moved slower than last year because this year Apple required that you activate the phones in the store. If you don’t want to wait in long lines, a good strategy for Apple products is just to show up later in the day after the initial surge subsides. Last year we waited until evening to buy our first iPhone and the line was only five people long.
Here’s what you need to know: the activation issues were resolved by Friday afternoon, and most of the lines at Apple stores should be pretty manageable now. Apple provides a page to check local iPhone availability. The page looks like this:
All three Apple stores in Silicon Valley have iPhones in stock, for example. If there are multiple stores in your area (check this page for Apple store locations and phone numbers), call each one to see who has the shortest line.
I like my iPhone 3G a lot, and plan to do several iPhone-related posts. The main thing you need to know right now is that any snafus on Friday were temporary, and it should be pretty doable to get an iPhone 3G now if you want one.