I still remember standing in line for the O.G. iPhone. It was at the Oakbrook Apple Store which is actually inside of an outdoor mall which was perfect for lining up. I got there way earlier than I needed to the night before, and security really didn’t know what to make of the gang of weirdos forming outside of the Apple Store. I’ve stood in line for every iOS release that didn’t have online preorders since, with the most memorable being waiting for the iPhone 4 at The Cube in New York City- …And that’s probably only because the line was nothing short of mind boggling.
I walked up from the nearby subway station, saw the line, and thought to myself, “Oh hey, that’s not bad," thinking that the line forming near the cube went through the line management maze of metal gates, and then in to the store. I asked someone nearby if this was the end of the line, they nodded, and I was pretty happy with my positioning. Then when they started asking everyone to take their chairs up and compress the line I noticed we were moving away from the line maze. I was in a line that stretched all the way around one New York City block before finally entering the massive line management maze, and then descending down in to the cube.
It took forever, but it was an experience. It always is. Additionally, it always seems like you make those friends of necessity waiting in line for electronics, kind of like high school gym class buddies. You’ve got nothing in common other than the fact that you’re standing there, for hours, together. Most recently for the iPhone 5s, my gang of friends were sandwiched between some Italian guys looking to buy as many iPhone 5s units they could before returning to Italy next week, and a mom, who didn’t known anything about the iPhone other than the fact that her daughter wanted the gold one.
My most miserable line experience would have to be waiting in line to preorder the Nintendo Wii. It was a legendary line, in the middle of winter, and also marks the coldest I think I’ve ever been in my entire life. Essentially, I’ve waited in line for everything from game consoles to phones, and I always manage to have at least a decent time doing it. There’s something about the excitement that builds when you’re actively in a group of people waiting for something you really want.
As I get older, and the thought of staying up all night invokes more of an “ugh" and less of a “hell yeah," I tend to prefer ordering online whenever I can- Especially if release day delivery is a thing. But, when you’ve just got to have something, well, that’s what energy drinks and camp chairs are for.
We were discussing this in the TouchArcade command center recently, and I’m really curious how our readers generally feel about camping out to buy new gizmos. What have you camped for? Was it worth it? And, if you’ve never waited in an overnight line for a gadget, what would it take to get you to do it? Or, maybe you won’t wait for an iPhone, but you’ll stand in line all day for a crack at buying concert tickets before they sell out, or something similar?
Share with us in the comments, and hey, while you’re at it, if you’ve got any crazy “The Things I’ve Seen…" stories from grizzled line waiting veterans, let’s hear ’em too.