Alright, it’s been 2 weeks. How does the iPhone 4 hold up?
For me, there was less urgency to this launch then for previous iPhone releases. I wanted the 3GS on day one (video recording!) and of course I waited all afternoon for the original iPhone (shiny!). Likewise I couldn’t wait for the iPad. This time I viewed iMovie and FaceTime as the killer apps. Sign me up!
But I wasn’t willing to wait all day. I tried the same approach that had worked great for the iPad: show up late in the day after the madness has settled down. No luck this time. I waited about half an hour, then came back before closing and waited a couple more hours to get a voucher for the next day. Total wait time about 3.5 hours over 2 days and 3 visits.
To get it on day 1, most people waited 6 hours. I’m sure “John Gruber’s story on Flickr”:www.flickr.com/photos/gr… was common too.
This was Apple’s most poorly-managed launch I’ve been to. The 3GS line was pretty fast. For iPad it was extremely quick — in and out in half an hour. I mostly blame the extra step of requiring activation in-store, but there were enough problems that I think this whole thing was mismanaged somewhere.
Some of the inconsistent messages I heard depending on which Apple Store employee I talked to:
- AT&T activation is not the bottleneck / yes it is.
We are selling 30 phones every 10 minutes / no idea how long the wait is.
We'll shut down the line at 7pm and give out vouchers / staying open until 2am.
Vouchers will allow you to skip everyone else in line the next day / you're guaranteed a phone but have to wait in line.
I also “collected a few tweets about the launch”:tweetlib.com/manton/ip…
Anyway, the phone. It’s the best phone I’ve ever seen. No question.
Now that some time has passed, I think I can comment on the reception issue. It’s real. Outside my house, I don’t notice it. But my street is a notoriously bad dead zone, and while I don’t get any more dropped calls than I used to, I can no longer hold the phone in the palm of my left hand when using mobile Safari. It’s pretty frustrating because I’ve been holding the phone this way for 3 years. It’s awkward to break the habit.
Having said that, I’ll close with the same thing I told strangers who came up asking about the phone. It’s easy to overlook the reception issue because of how great the rest of the phone is, and all existing iPhone users will love the iPhone 4. Eventually I’ll just cave in and buy a bumper.