I bought my original iPhone on launch day at an Apple store in Bethesda, MD, in a transaction so quick that I was back on the street with my phone in hand less than three and a half minutes after stepping into the store. One of the reasons it was so quick, of course, is that the original iPhone was user-activated at home via iTunes. The 3G iPhone is going to require in-store activation, however, and I'm wondering if that's going to cause the lines at Apple stores everywhere to move at a glacial rate on July 11. I live in New York City and would normally circumvent this potential problem by going to the 24-hour Apple store on 5th Ave at 2am or something like that...but that's not an option since I'm gonna be in Los Angeles for business from July 8-17. I just checked, and I see that all three LA-area Apple stores are (per Google maps) theoretically within an 11-minute drive of the hotel where I'll be staying in Beverly Hills, so I reckon I'll be buying my 3G iPhone at one of them. What I'm wondering is, will there be enough consumer interest in the 3G iPhone to result in really long lines and, possibly, incredibly long waits thanks to the insistence on in-store activation? Or do you guys think that there won't be a lot of "casuals" waiting for the new iPhone and that the number of "diehards" might not be large enough to cause huge delays because of the new activation policy? In any event, I'm assuming all three LA Apple stores will stay open past their regular 9pm closing time on July 11, though I suspect the Grove store might turn out to be the best one to hit since it's the only one located in a freestanding building with its own entrance rather than in a mall.