iPhone multi-city lineblog

This is it, iDay. Nerds from coast to coast will be lining up at their local Apple and AT&T stores to snag what's essentially the most anticipated consumer electronics launch ever. So what else is there to do but live blog those lines in whichever cities we can? Check back throughout the day as the iJinx ensues in the final run-up to the iPhone.

Update: things are really heating up at The Cube, the store is being filled with iPhones, as seen above, and the line has started to move. Keep an eye on this post (after the break) for the latest.

Update 2: Here at last.

San Francisco Apple Store, 12:18AM PDT - Things are definitely starting to pick up from the last time we stopped by; we'd estimate there are somewhere between 40 and 50 people in line. We know it's iDay because there's a scary, sunglass-clad dude looking out at the line from inside the store.

The Cube, 5th Ave. NYC, 10:30AM EDT - Hit the cube just a little after 8. There seemed to be a lot of commotion and we were worried that this might be full on chaos, but most of the fuss seems to be press related. The line starts with our main man Greg Packer at the cube, runs along the side on 58th, past FAO Schwarz, and wraps around the corner on Madison. We'd say there are no more than 200 or so people waiting (say hi to #144 in line, he doesn't bite). You would think the line would be filled with fanatics (and we're sure they're here), but two of the first people we talked to told us they've been forced to wait by their bosses (kind of like us). This isn't really a party (yet), and you definitely can feel how much of an Apple-created event this line is.

The Cube, 5th Ave. NYC, 12:15PM EDT - Things remain largely unchanged, though roving reporters keep trying to interview us for their rags. There seems to be a lot "seat sellers" popping up, as the pictures can attest. One gentleman feels his spot is worth the astronomical price of $5000 -- we beg to differ (although he is throwing in a sweet chair).

AT&T store, Montague St. Brooklyn, 12:30PM EDT - We showed up here at 11:30AM and nabbed the 15th spot in line. A couple of people have lined up behind us, but it's not a mob scene by any means. When we called at 9AM there were only two people here, while a Wall St. store we called had 50 people.

San Francisco Apple Store, 9:32AM PDT - There's a lot more going on at the Downtown SF store than there was yesterday. The line is now reaching around the block, and the "clowns" from yesterday have set up a mini golf rig: and no, getting a hole-in-one doesn't get you an iPhone. A lady is coming round and making a list of all the people in the line, claiming that it's a "community building" project. Another guy walked down the line telling people that there's an AT&T store just a block away with no line: nice try.

AT&T Store, 16th and Ranstead Philadelphia, 11:30AM EDT - We weren't accosted by local reporters, eager for our no doubt insightful commentary on the iPhone, at the AT&T Store in Center City Philadelphia. They were too busy buzzing about the the city's mayor who had, unfortunately, taken off just before we got there. Instead, we accosted a local Comcast newsperson who said, "They went at him like I've never seen before." When Street had enough of the political heat, he got out of the kitchen line, sticking one of his aides in his place according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. Without any Apple Stores in the City of Brotherly Love, it looks like this AT&T store is where the media is making its stand.

AT&T store, Montague St. Brooklyn, 12:42PM EDT - Some dude just drove by in a car shouting "iPhone sucks!" at everyone in line. Yes, but does Dumbledore die?

(Reader submitted) Farmington Apple Store, 1:03PM EDT - Waiting in line at the Apple Store in the WestFarms Mall in Farmington, CT. So far about 100 people here. I've got some pics on my blog. It's nice to be waiting in line in an air conditioned mall and not out on the street in the awful humidity here. Apple employees have been periodically passing out Glaceau Smart Water to us.

(This one was reader submitted by Carmine G, feel free to send you own lineblog experiences to us through the tips form)

AT&T store, Montague St. Brooklyn, 2:00PM EDT - Guy walks by. "All these people are waiting in line for a phone?" Other guy: "Yeah." Guy: "Is it a free phone?"

The Cube, 5th Ave. NYC, 2PM EDT - Went into the store to get info on crowd control (and just pick up an iPhone real quick). Couldn't get any information, as all employees kept redirecting us to a mysterious figure known as "Steve" from "PR." According to sightings he was wearing a blue shirt and had "all the info." Then everyone got kicked out at 2 sharp so they could start the mayhem.

San Francisco Apple Store, 10:14AM PDT - A UPS truck pulls up to the end of the line and the driver yells: "I've got iPhones!" The people at the back of the line are nonplussed, with a Google employee sitting nearby shooting back: "No-one believes you!" That didn't stop his buddy from running off after the truck after it turned the corner towards the Apple Store though.

Stanford Shopping Center, 2:26PM PDT - We just hit the Apple mini-store down here -- the line's about 50 deep, and no one at the Apple store has any clue how many units they're getting (no surprise). Mall security told us no photos, but you all know how much we respect authority. Peep the shot above -- those were two (of three) of the hugest UPS delivery trucks we've ever seen. (Granted, we're assuming they also service the rest of this shopping center as well.)

Apple Store Tampa, 2:28EDT - They are only letting 20 people wait inside the International Plaza mall and it's a typical hot humid day in Florida (89 degrees with 70% humidity and to top it off the occasional rain cloud passes by sprinkling on us.) Every few minutes more and more people show up, but right now the count is about 60.

Apple Store Sagemore, Marlton, NJ, 2:30PM EDT - At the Sagemore Apple Store in South Jersey -- the closest Apple Store to downtown Philadelphia -- a sedate crowd of 65 and counting are waiting peacefully for their iPhones. Scott, who's been in line since 1:30 yesterday afternoon, has already faced reporters from the three major news outlets and was keeping up-to-date on iPhone news reading Engadget on his EV-DO-enabled Treo. The store closed at 2pm -- upsetting one shopper looking to fix her son's iPod -- and began covering the giant glass storefront with a black shroud, effortlessly blocking the gaze of the iPilgrims. One shopper walked by and commented, "Y'alls a bunch of major nerds." Yes, we know. Thank you.

(Reader submitted) Roosevelt Field Apple Store, 2:50EDT - Black curtains are popping up all over! Thanks Jacob!

The Cube, 5th Ave. NYC, 2:58PMEDT - Pictured above: the box in which three jokers are hoping to get $600 in handouts while they wait in line, and a very nice looking couple at the very, very end of the line. The mood now is really the calm before the storm. According to an Apple employee (who may or not know what he's talking about) plans are being laid as we speak concerning crowd control and the method of getting people into the store. The line is around 400 strong, by best estimates. So far no wristbands, no numbers, and no clear sense that anyone really knows what the deal is. Although, we're pretty sure Steve from PR will have answers.

Valley Fair Apple Store, 12:50PM PDT - The line here's pretty deep -- runs around the corner, into a huge area, and then outside into the street, next to where the huge UPS truck is parked. The Woz is here! (Believe it or not, he's #1 in line.) We'll be chatting it up with him shortly.

Two ladies walked by behind us, maybe in their early 40s, and yelled "Freaks!" Damn, live under a rock?

The Cube, 5th Ave. NYC, 4:17PM EDT - Here you go folks, pics of some store unpacking, and the angry Apple employee waving us away! They've also set up a zig zagging path leading to the entrance of the Cube, clearly to bottleneck the throngs.

And here they are on display ya'll.

The Cube, 5th Ave. NYC, 4:31PM EDT - The line has started to move! Probably just to fill up that zig zag we were talking about, but exciting nonetheless.

4:39PM EDT - Everyone is on their feet now. We just got clicked (counted) and moved on closer to the entrance.

Palo Alto Apple Store, 1:47PM PDT - Tons of people in line -- it wraps around the corner and flows all the way around the block. Scoble and his son are #1 and 2.

We hit the very tail end of the line all the way down at Lytton Street when a car drove up, five people inside. They all stuck their real iPhones out the window and laid on the horn, hooting like only Apple nerds can. We tried to flag them down but they took off -- just for that we're not blurring out their vanity license plate. Thankfully no riot ensued after the multi-iPhone sighting, the nerds in line were all too rapt with their laptops and staring off into space dreaming of their new iDevice.

Naturally, we had to stop over at the Helio store across the street from the Palo Alto Apple shop. It was entirely empty, and we were greeted by a relatively grumpy salesman holding an Ocean, who was happy to start bemoaning the Apple launch and mention that once everyone gets in and plays with an iPhone, they'll immediately come to their senses and run over to Helio. "Besides, it's a first gen Apple product, and we all know what that means." Of course, we had to set him straight: "Yes, but that Ocean a first generation Helio product, too." "I guess, but this is a one of a kind -- Apple will make many versions of the iPhone." Wait, huh?

San Francisco Apple Store, 14:39AM PDT - The Apple Store in SF is all closed up now, with the black paper covering up the front of the store. We just managed to sneak a shot of an Apple Store employee with an Incredibles T-shirt: we don't think that means Apple is planning a promotional iPhone just yet. It's getting a little chaotic, and the clowns screaming in the background aren't helping.

The Cube, 5th Ave. NYC, 5:51PM EDT - They're starting to let people in the door!

Apple Store Sagemore, Marlton, NJ, 5:40PM EDT - The black curtains are off and, oh my, what's that? It's some sort of iPod, cell phone combination! Both sides of the entrance are now home to two giant iPhone displays with one counting down (20 minutes and counting), the other going through the iPhone's myriad functionalities (wait, it's also a breakthrough internet communicator?). The store appears to have thousands of black-shirted employees milling about inside, ostensibly struggling to keep their mitts off the new table covered in iPhones while the crowd outside is instructed to make an orderly line -- yes, that includes you iPhone placard guy.

Chicago Apple Store, 4:43PM CDT - True to the Chicago spirit, a minor street festival has erupted around the Michigan Avenue Apple Store -- there are hot dog vendors, guys with grills, beer, and lots of totally confused people milling around saying things like "So it's a phone?" Apple has been keeping the 300 person line satiated with free water, Starbucks, and doughnuts, but the funniest thing has got to be the break in the line at Erie Street, which separates the B-list nerds from the rest of the pack.

The Cube, 5th Ave. NYC, 5:57PM EDT
- Maybe false alarm, hard to tell, the news crews are freaking out -- cops are working serious crowd control.

Apple Store Tampa, 5:40 EDT -With only 20 minutes to go the line is moving and Apple employees are thanking us for waiting. It won't be long now.

AT&T store, Montague St. Brooklyn, 6:00PM EDT - Store employees got us on our feet and counted, but nobody is being let in.

The Cube, 5th Ave. NYC, 6:00PM EDT - It's on and moving fast

AT&T store, Montague St. Brooklyn, 6:02PM EDT - They're letting the first person in right now!

The Cube, 5th Ave. NYC, 6:10PM EDT - We're at the front of the line now, about to go in. People are already coming out of the store with iPhones in hand.

Apple Store Tampa, 6:07 EDT - Nick from Boy Genius was the first to score one here.

Apple Store Sagemore, Marlton, NJ, 5:40PM EDT - After counting down the final seconds, the doors flung open to the sound of applause as the first twenty iPilgrims were allowed in. What seemed like less than a minute later, Scott (remember, he was the first guy in line) emerged triumphant, two new iPhones in hand. He immediately tore into one with the inquisitive eye of the local Fox affiliate watching on. Sure enough, the tiny packaging concealed an iPhone right on top which he held up as the crowd cheered. As each transaction is completed and the weary campers emerge with their prize, the employees cheer while passersby shake their heads. "All this for a phone?"

AT&T store, Montague St. Brooklyn, 6:22PM EDT - First person in line has been in there 20 minutes, nobody knows what's wrong, apparently it's something to do with processing the order. Everyone is getting pretty antsy here.

The Cube, 5th Ave. NYC, 6:27PM EDT - We're in and we have an iPhone. Unboxing pics on the way.

AT&T store, Montague St. Brooklyn, 6:30PM EDT - First guy just finished buy his, he's walking out.

AT&T store, Montague St. Brooklyn, 6:37PM EDT - AT&T Computers are down here! Overwhelmed with transaction volume.

Stanford Shopping Center, 6:00PM PDT - Apple mini-store is open and people are on there way in.

Previous line coverage:
iPhone madness hit or miss in Chicago
Not much going on at San Fran's Apple Store
iLoser retains place in line, crisis averted
First iPhone camper smelled at Apple's 5th Ave store