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The Great iPhone Caper

Apple Store Closed for iPhone Sales Prep

Until we publish our review of Apple's iPhone this weekend, come back here whenever the little iPhone on the left side of the front page of Tom's Hardware indicates Updates Available. That means we have added something you haven't yet seen to the Great iPhone Caper, the continuing saga of our efforts to obtain a couple of iPhones and tell you all about it. Check out the table of contents for earlier posts and 26 TG Daily iPhone news stories. Unless otherwise indicated, all images are courtesy of and copyrighted by Apple Inc.

Fri, June 29th 1:26 PM

The doors are locked. Black curtains cover the windows. And, the first thing going into the store were 10 boxes of Pizza. Party time!

Busy Apple employees are now setting the store up to sell the phones most efficiently. Tension is building. Apple store employees announced that there are enough phones for everyone in line to buy one. Two? No response.

Apple employees also said they would honor the unofficial list maintained by Mall Security. Cheer of relief! It's getting crowded in here and people are getting concerned that line breakers will get all the phones. Mall Security guards are beefy and should be able to protect those of us who waited in line for as long as 28 hours. Yes, that's how long the first guy in the line will have waited by 6 PM. Me, 14 hours. Yawn.

More Waiting in Line

Fri, June 29th 1:06 PM

I'm back. The folks at this Mall and the Apple people have been great. Around 8 AM Mall Security escorted us into an empty store near the Apple store. It's very large, air conditioned, and has its own restrooms and drinking fountains. Very nice. About an hour or so ago a guy from the Apple store rolled in a cart with free coffee. More very nice. The security people and Apple will cooperate to assure we go into the store in the order of our positions on the sign-in list.

We estimate there are around 200 people here now. There's a group of pretty tired guys and girls playing cards on a fold-up table and chair set. Occasionally someone screems out or groans, depending on whether they have won or lost a hand. The lady to my right is studying for her English as a second language exam; the guy to my left is reading the latest Harry Potter book; 12 feet thick.

Rumors continue to fly. The latest is that we'll be getting Apple iPhone tee shirts for our pioneering efforts. Actually, as I struggle typing stuff into my Blackberry Pearl, I, a confirmed Apple-hater (with a nano), am beginning to catch iPhone fever. Luckily I'll be testing the phone extensively and will be able to decide whether my Pearl stays or goes with more than a little bit of data.

I'm surprised how nice people are being. If Mall Security and Apple continue behaving like smart humans, I'd guess there will be few fist fights and perhaps no wild shootings.

iPhone Day Is Here: Waiting In Line

Fri, June 29th 4:25 AM

I'm 27th in line at the Apple store in the Century City Mall. Century City was built on part of the 20th Century Fox movie lot back in the 1960s. It's within spitting distance of Beverly Hills. The folks in line with me are discussing everything from the iPhone to their own particular love or hate of Apple Inc.

Mall security just showed up. Woops, we're being moved away from the store and over to a holding pen off the Mall. Everyone is pissed off. Now that we're in the holding area, Security is giving us all papers with numbers on them. Whew! I'm still number 27. Oh, great, now they're passing around a note pad for us to write our names and numbers on. Cool. Security now says this is all unofficial. Deep sigh of disappointment from the crowd.

There's a real Apple fan-boy here. Everyone is treating him like a god. He knows a lot, but I'm hearing some stuff that sounds questionable. Like he really doesn't know Parallels (lets you run MS Windows and other stuff on an Intel Mac), but he's bulling his way through a discussion of it. Hunt up our review of Parallels on Gear Digest.

Apple Press Release: iPhone Availability

Thur, June 28th 2:00 PM

CUPERTINO, California - June 28, 2007 - Apple's revolutionary iPhone will go on sale this Friday, June 29 at 6:00 p.m. local time at Apple® retail stores nationwide. All 164 Apple retail stores in the US will stay open until midnight, and customers can purchase up to two iPhones on a first come, first served basis. Beginning Saturday morning, iPhone customers can learn how to get the most out of the iPhone with free, in-depth workshops offered throughout the day at all Apple retail stores. Every Apple retail store will offer support for iPhone at the Genius Bar and personal training through Apple's new One to One program.

"Apple retail stores were created for this moment - to let customers touch and experience a revolutionary new product," said Ron Johnson, Apple's senior vice president of Retail. "With our legendary Genius Bar support, free workshops and our One to One personal training, we're here to help customers get the most from their new iPhone."

iPhone introduces an entirely new user interface based on a revolutionary multi-touch display and pioneering new software that allows users to control iPhone with just a tap, flick or pinch of their fingers. iPhone combines three products into one small and lightweight handheld device - a revolutionary mobile phone, a widescreen iPod®, and the Internet in your pocket with best-ever applications on a mobile phone for email, web browsing and maps. iPhone ushers in an era of software power and sophistication never before seen in a mobile device, which completely redefines what users can do on their mobile phones.

Pricing and Availability

iPhone goes on sale in the US on June 29, 2007 at 6:00 p.m. local time through Apple's retail stores and AT&T's select retail stores. Apple's online store will be taking orders for iPhone beginning at 6:00 p.m. PDT. iPhone will be available in a 4 GB model for $499 (US) and an 8 GB model for $599 (US), and will work with either a PC or Mac®. Beginning June 30 and continuing through the summer, Apple Stores in the US will open early at 9:00 a.m. for iPhone sales. Customers can check iPhone availability at their local Apple retail store starting at 9:00 p.m. the night before at www.apple.com/retail.

Apple ignited the personal computer revolution in the 1970s with the Apple II and reinvented the personal computer in the 1980s with the Macintosh. Today, Apple continues to lead the industry in innovation with its award-winning computers, OS X operating system and iLife and professional applications. Apple is also spearheading the digital media revolution with its iPod portable music and video players and iTunes online store, and will enter the mobile phone market this year with its revolutionary iPhone.

Grrrr Time Is Near

Thur, June 28th 1:43 PM

As waiting in line to buy some iPhones gets closer and closer, we're all beginning to feel just a little negativity toward Apple. I mean, waiting in line isn't part of my job description. A ton of other things are.

Most of what you see on Tom's Hardware and Gear Digest gets there through lots and lots of work on my part. Please don't take this as a slight of the very, very hard work of other people in our editorial, information technology, sales and marketing departments. It's just that I'm the one where the buck stops. If other people with day-to-day responsibility for editorial or IT are busy or on vacation, I'm the one who has to assure that there's stuff online for you to read.

I love my job, but add possibly having to wait in line for a day or more to my other responsibilities and a part of me gets quite upset. I'll have some help, but I'm going to have to bring two laptops and extra batteries to continue doing my other tasks.

All of this is starting to get to me. So, if you're in line at some store in LA and you see this guy pulling out his hair and sticking a sharp knife into an apple, it just might be me or some other tech writer who has to wait in line to pay Apple and AT&T to review her majesty, the iPhone.

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