After much wailing and gnashing of teeth, I drove over to the Apple Store last Friday, not sure of what I might find there. I arrived at 11:45, and walked out with my new iPhone 3GS 32 GB black model in less than a half hour. I only stood in line for 5 -10 minutes. My name was on their reservation list, so I got to sit on the short line of a half dozen people. This being Apple, the reservation list was organized by first name. They want to really really know you, as a friend.
The late-comers were on a second line about twice as long, and moving half as fast. The store was virtually closed that day to all but iPhone buyers and those with Genius Bar appointments. And the Genius Bar was booked through Tuesday, I heard the concierge tell one person. People who wanted to walk in to buy computers ($1000+ items, mind you) were told to wait outside until they could find an available sales person.
The concierge introduced me to my salesperson, who found me in the computerized system easily enough (minus the glitch about a space being in my last name), and started taking me through all the steps. The only hang-up? My credit authorization wasn’t in the system, so she had to call AT&T to verify that. That took at least five minutes. She said to me, “We’ve had that error a few times today. Nothing to worry about. You’d think AT&T would be able to figure that out and get their servers working.” “No,” I said, “nobody expects anything from AT&T.” She didn’t say anything back, but she laughed a knowing laugh. I don’t blame her for being reticent to blast an Apple business partner, but she knows as well as everyone else in that store where the weak link of the iPhone is.
They took my credit card and two gift cards I had saved up for the purchase, had me digitally sign a thing or two, emailed me my recent, and then took me over to another table filled with tech people whose job it was to plug the iPhone into iTunes to start it up. After that was done, he asked if I wanted to set up an email account on the phone. I did. They listed Gmail as a possibility, so the tech handed me the iPhone and told me to go ahead and type in my name and password.
::gulp:: I’ve never typed on an iPhone before. Now, here I was, standing in front of an Apple employee with hands that felt like sides of beef, trying to tap out my user name and password. You don’t get the benefit of autocomplete when you’re doing that, by the way.
Took me three tries, but I finally got it to work. My main problem came in typing the password, since keypresses are automatically replaced with stars as you type.
I pretended that I was trying different passwords and they guy laughed, “Yeah, we get that a lot.” Did he know I was lying?
And by the time that flop sweat dried up, I was headed out the door with my new toy.
Let the learning curve begin!
Tomorrow: The Coolness of the New Toy.