My Tale of Trying To Get an iPhone 4

Short version: got up early, didn’t get one, bummed.

Here’s the long version though. I’ve wanted an iPhone 4 for a while, accuse me of being a fanboy or silly or whatever, but I have. My current iPhone is two generations old now, and is starting to feel like it, and with the official Canadian release of the iPhone 4 coming July 30th (that’d be today), I was amped, ready and prepared.

Last night I was up late (I blame the tea) and couldn’t sleep, wondering if I should be one of those crazy people who camps out the night before, telling myself I’m not that crazy, then envisioning myself as person #11 in a lineup outside a store with only 10 phones and wondering if I should just go and drive to Abbotsford to check. My compromise was to set my alarm a bit earlier and go to sleep.

After tossing and turning till about 1am, I finally got to sleep, or at least I must have. Then at 4am I started hearing a strange noise, strange enough and loud enough to wake up up. Got up and found it was my laptop making the odd noise, not the hard-drive it seemed (thank the computer gods) but it must have been the fan. In my groggy state I had enough presence of mind to shut my laptop down and go back to bed.

Of course, now at 4am my cats saw me awake and figured now was the time to talk to me, so the next 40 minutes was more tossing and turning while being head-butted, pawed, cuddled, and purred against by various furry critters. At 4:40am I gave up (as my brain was now asking me if there weren’t crazy people who may not line up outside a Rogers store in Abbotsford the night before, but first thing in the morning?) and just got up, got dressed, and headed out. I hit the store where I was at for the first iPhone line I was in at and there was thankfully no one there.

I filled up with gas, got a coffee at Tim Hortons, and drove back, still no one there.

I took my rightful place in line as person (fool?) number 1.

About 30 minutes later two other guys showed up and we chatted for a while, then another, and another, and we got to know each other and were happy to be with “our people”… those who were perfectly self-aware of their shiny-tech-gadget lust. We talked about rumours we’d heard, guessed as to the various numbers of phones that would be at the store, and everything else. All through this I kept on realizing that no matter what happened, even if the low number of 5 of the version of the phone I was wanting was true, I’d still get what I wanted as I was #1 in line.

A couple of hours pass now and there are about 7 people in the lineup, and we start to notice that there were people actually inside the mall, sitting right outside the Rogers store.

To clarify, we (the “real” lineup) were standing outside one of the mall entrances that was closest to the Rogers store, but there were 5 other entrances, and there were a group of old folks who walked the mall in the mornings who go in through a service entrance.

So it looked like the two people inside the mall got in there through either the service entrance or another set of doors. The inside group grew by a couple more and people started to get a bit nervous and annoyed. Finally a mall-cop came by and was nice enough to let us in.

Now the douche-bags came out. First of all there were about 7 people ahead of us (the “real” line) inside already, and they some how multiplied to about 13 as others glommed on. In particular there was Douche-bag In The Hat, who was around 8th in our outside lineup, went to the front of the line to chat, and then just sort of stayed there when the Rogers people came out. Then there’s Douche-bag With The Popped Collar who came late and just stood ahead of me, saying “don’t freak out, I’m just here for my brother” when someone complained, even though he didn’t seem to be with anyone and there was no younger brother nearby. Turns out he was standing behind his brothers girlfriend or wife, and his brother came later as well (isn’t it nice you can come to the line up at 9am and end up ahead of the people there at 5am?). I have no problem if you’re there cause you need to co-sign a cell phone contract, but if suddenly there are now 2 extra people in front of me that’s also 2 extra phones disappearing.

So when the Rogers people arrived I had somehow gone from first in line to 13th. I could say I’d be ok with being 3rd, as there was a guy there with his wife who got there at 11am the night before. Still, 13th? sigh.

In the end though, the store only got two of the 32GB models (which after all this I wasn’t going to compromise and not get exactly what I had come for) so they were gone by 9:45 when the 3rd or so person went in. Of course, the Rogers network was also down from the demand on it (my buddy Bryan has yet to have his phone which he got in Vancouver activated as of mid-afternoon), so people weren’t actually getting phones to take away, just a phone reserved in the store for them until the activation tools were working again.

A couple of people came out of the store ahead muttering about “no more 32G versions”, and I decided not to just go home and try next week, but stayed just in case there was a list to put my name on. Turns out that was a good move, because there was a list, and I am (trumpet call) number 3 on the list of people who will get called when more 32G versions are in (monday or tuesday maybe).

So that’s a long way to spend a morning to get nothing.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m ok with not getting a phone. It’s just a phone, and I have a perfectly fine working phone now (shiny as it is). Really, I am. What I’m pissed off at is not getting a phone EVEN THOUGH I WAS FIRST IN LINE. I feel a bit cheated, and have to say will not be going to this store for the next “event” and will instead go to a Rogers store that has a single entrance.

The rest of the morning (now approaching afternoon) wasn’t much better:

  • Cost me $150 to have the fan on my laptop fixed, or at least the part ordered and pre-pay the costs.
  • Have my doctor tell me my bad cholesterol is down (yay), good cholesterol is up (yay), and blood pressure is perfect (yay).
  • Coming home and poking at my laptop the noisy fan seems to have fixed itself, but of course they won’t cancel the ordered part and refund me the money. sigh

Now I’m tired, a bit cranky, but still hopeful that new stock will get me a shiny toy to play with before the new work week appears. There’s still time for it all to turn horrible though…