by Brian Solis
Line outside of Apple store in San Francisco 6:30 am PST
Last year, the iPhone was thrust into the spotlight and into our culture forever changing the business of mobile phones and the design of consumer electronics across every product landscape. Scores of anxious consumers lined up outside of Apple retail stores around the country days in advance of its official introduction hoping for the opportunity to be among the first to own and experience the “Jesus Phone.”
Fast forward one year and 11 days later, the iPhone 3G – version 2.0 of the beloved extension to our inner soul, made its debut and the world watched and again thousands of fans lined up in anticipation.
I woke up extra early on 7.11.08, grabbed the camera and headed over to San Francisco to capture the excitement.
This year however, the lines started much closer to the launch over last year. That’s to be expected though, simply because the upgrades, while important, weren’t as compelling as the introduction of the lifestyle enhancing and changing iPhone 1.0.
The number 1, 2, and 3 persons in line set up camp on Wednesday. Dale, #1, a mobile marketing consultant, enjoyed the comforts of true camping, complete with tent, air matrix, blankets, and a chair.
Patrick Scoble with #2 JP Kelly (far right) and #3 Ilan Fehler
When I arrived, I was greeted by an excited and spirited community of Apple enthusiasts. It was lively and embracing. I said hello to good friends Robert Scoble, MG Siegler, Dylan Tweney, Adam Jackson and made new friends in the process.
Sam Levin, Patrick Scoble, Robert Scoble, Nick Starr, Tyler Howarth, Dominic Sagolla, James Warne
As 8 a.m. approached, the line stretched around the corner and was roughly 250-300 people long. An interesting side note however, is that the line was only 10-12 people deep until 4′ish a.m. the day of the launch. The VentureBeat team distributed doughnuts and Apple employees poured coffee for those in line.
Shortly before the doors opened, that drape that blocked our view of the inside of the store fell to reveal a staged positioning of apple employees applauding those in line. It was quite brilliant and it recharged the fatigued, but giddy iPhone loyalists who were more than ready to satisfy their quest.
As the doors opened, employees handed out high fiver’s for everyone. It would be another 45 minutes until Dale, Ilan and JP would emerge having successfully completed the transaction of buying and paying for the iPhone 3G – AT&T and Apple systems were crushed during new sales and activations as customers rushed stores from the East Coast to the West Coast.
From here, I’ll let the pictures tell the rest of the story:
MG Siegler of VentureBeat
Dylan Tweney of Wired
Dominic Sagolla, organizer of iPhoneDevCamp
Channel 5 counts the minutes until 8 a.m.
Jackson West of Valleywag
Robert Scoble and Patrick Scoble live on Qik
Broadcast media gets ready
Customers make their way to the Genius Bar
Adam Jackson with his new iPhone 3G
UPDATE: Apple announced that it sold over 1 million iPhone 3G’s worldwide in one weekend.
For additional pictures of the Apple iPhone 3G launch in San Francisco, please visit my album on flickr.