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The long line goes over the bridge and beyond

iPhone 4: The Countdown is over

So after hatching complicated plans for obtaining the iPhone 4, it all comes down to an enormous line at the Century City mall. As you can see, the line goes out of the mall, to the side of the next building, over the bridge, and even past the bridge.

The people at the very front of the line have been there since about 8pm from the day before. Some had sleeping bags, folding chairs, laptops, iPads, and other distractions. Some just sat on the ground. Although there was originally a list of names, it turned out that was done by the mall security and had nothing to do with Apple. I think Apple needs to come up with a better system before they have a riot next time from people trying to cut in line.

The people in the reserved iPhone line were moved anywhere from 10-30 people per group to the mall. Each group would be moved every 30-40 minutes or so. The people in the non-reserved line were given tickets that confirmed that they would get an iPhone, assuming they stayed in line and waited. This line moved in groups of one person to 10, every 40-50 minutes or so. The reserved line started moving at 7am, and the non-reserved line started moving at 10am. Apple handed out

Once moved into the mall, you stood in a second short line across from the Apple store. Then you were moved again to a 3rd tiny line (of just 7 people) right in front of the store. There was another line for people who were not getting iPhones. I don’t know why people would stand in a line to NOT get an iPhone today, but some people like the action.

Now, from the 3rd line, you are moved to your 4th line inside the store where somebody asks for your information and types it into their computer. And finally, from there, an Apple employee was assigned to get you everything you needed.

Although the waiting and standing in the lines in the hot sun was excruciating, I have to say the Apple people are well trained and very helpful. Once you have made your purchase (with any software or accessories), you can optionally have your old phone contacts moved over to your iPhone. They are using a CelleBrite box which is basically a black box that connects any phone to any other phone and transfers the contact list. Very interesting stuff but must be a nightmare for the CellBrite company to keep up with all the new phones that come out everyday.

iPhone 4 with no AT&T service

Unfortunately, everything seemed okay at the store but when I got home, I realized the AT&T service was not properly connected and I was not able to make calls.

Next time: First impressions.