Is it really going to take a whole day to get the iPhone if waiting in line?

Starfyre

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Nov 7, 2010
2,738
970
I want to get the iPhone on launch day by waiting outside at a store. Is it really going to take the whole morning just to get my hands on an iPhone? I am planning on getting there at 7:30AM, and wishing to get out of there by 9:30AM at the latest. I know the phone is not out yet, its not Friday, but if anyone has past experience with older iPhone launches, please share your experience. I want a phone ideally without taking up an entire day, but I read a post somewhere that getting the phone on launch day required getting there in the AM and leaving at 3PM... that seems ridiculous.
 
Last edited:

DravenGSX

macrumors 6502a
Aug 20, 2008
577
51
I want to get the iPhone on launch day by waiting outside at a store. Is it really going to take the whole morning just to get my hands on an iPhone? I am planning on getting there at 7:30AM. I know the phone is not out yet, its not Friday, but if anyone has past experience with older iPhone launches, please share your experience.
I have two different experiences in Central Florida. There are three Apple stores in the metro area and countless carrier stores.

The first was with the iPhone 4 which, so far has been exactly like the launch of the iPhone 6. First, it's a new form factor. They processed pre-orders in the same way and had record sales before it even launched. One major difference is that there weren't rumors about shortages. Anyway, arrived at my local in-mall Apple store at 10 PM on Thursday night (the night before the launch) to find 30 people already there. Planted my chair and hung out and had a good time with the people around me. By 7:30, (this will sound like an exaggeration) there were several hundred people in line. Thanks to the pre-order pickup line being worked along side the walk-in line, the walk-in line moved unbearably slow once the store opened. I was 32nd in line and finally received my phone at 12:30 PM. By then there were easily (another one that will sound outlandish, but isn't) over a thousand people in line inside the mall. It was unbelievable.

Last year for the 5S, I went to my local AT&T corporate store at 1 AM Thursday night and was the first person there. I felt a little foolish frankly, but planted my chair anyway. At about 3:30 somebody else rolled in and people slowly started to trickle in from there. By 8 AM when the store opened, there were maybe 40 people in line and I was in and out in less than 5 minutes. This wasn't a new form factor and most iPhone users were not eligible for upgrade.

I expect this launch to go similarly to the iPhone 4 launch.
 

SpyderBite

macrumors 65816
Oct 4, 2011
1,262
8
Xanadu
It all depends on the store you're going to wait at.

I worked 3 iPhone launches at the westfarms store in CT and everybody who was in line got a phone for the 5 and the 5s launches. Maybe not the model they wanted. But everybody was offered a phone. Only the scalpers stuck around to grab whatever was left.
 

jlake02

macrumors 68020
Nov 2, 2008
2,258
1
L.A.
I'd get there before 7:30 or you probably won't even get into the store until 10 or 11.
 

617aircav

Suspended
Jul 2, 2012
3,974
815
I want to get the iPhone on launch day by waiting outside at a store. Is it really going to take the whole morning just to get my hands on an iPhone? I am planning on getting there at 7:30AM, and wishing to get out of there by 9:30AM at the latest. I know the phone is not out yet, its not Friday, but if anyone has past experience with older iPhone launches, please share your experience. I want a phone ideally without taking up an entire day, but I read a post somewhere that getting the phone on launch day required getting there in the AM and leaving at 3PM... that seems ridiculous.
If you get there at 730 am and leave with a phone at all count yourself lucky.
 

yubakram

macrumors member
Sep 12, 2014
42
4
Phoenix
We were at Costco in Phoenix last night and were able to reserve a Verizon iPhone 6 64GB White for pickup on Friday... $20 off list. Not sure which type or carrier but this may be another alternative.
 

Hankster

macrumors 68020
Jan 30, 2008
2,347
250
Washington DC
I want to get the iPhone on launch day by waiting outside at a store. Is it really going to take the whole morning just to get my hands on an iPhone? I am planning on getting there at 7:30AM, and wishing to get out of there by 9:30AM at the latest. I know the phone is not out yet, its not Friday, but if anyone has past experience with older iPhone launches, please share your experience. I want a phone ideally without taking up an entire day, but I read a post somewhere that getting the phone on launch day required getting there in the AM and leaving at 3PM... that seems ridiculous.
I have only stayed in line for one iPhone which was the iPhone 4. The line was insane. My wife and I got there at 5am and it was already 100 people long. By 8:30am the line, and I am not kidding, was well over 500+. I asked one of the employees who told me.

If you really want to get the phone on Friday you better get in line before 5am because each person takes about 5-6 minutes to process. If you arrive at 7:30am you will be there until mid afternoon.
 

Cabby

macrumors regular
Jun 28, 2010
134
0
I want to get the iPhone on launch day by waiting outside at a store. Is it really going to take the whole morning just to get my hands on an iPhone? I am planning on getting there at 7:30AM, and wishing to get out of there by 9:30AM at the latest. I know the phone is not out yet, its not Friday, but if anyone has past experience with older iPhone launches, please share your experience. I want a phone ideally without taking up an entire day, but I read a post somewhere that getting the phone on launch day required getting there in the AM and leaving at 3PM... that seems ridiculous.
It is ridiculous, where have you been? If you could walk in at open and leave in less than 2 hours, everyone would do that.
 

turbineseaplane

macrumors 601
Mar 19, 2008
4,985
7,148
This time around it will really matter what you're looking for.

I'd wager that on Friday at 10am you could stroll right into an Apple Store and pick up a 16gb iP6 of some color
 

erikjc

macrumors member
Oct 2, 2012
74
0
New York, NY
If you really want to get the phone on Friday you better get in line before 5am because each person takes about 5-6 minutes to process.
But aren't there tons of employees on deck, so that multiple customers are being processed at a time? Why is it so slow?
 

Starfyre

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Nov 7, 2010
2,738
970
It is ridiculous, where have you been? If you could walk in at open and leave in less than 2 hours, everyone would do that.
Not waiting in line for phones on launch day? My phone is near dead, so there is a bit of urgency on this one. I don't want to wait until mid October to have a working phone.
 

davefromca

macrumors 6502
Nov 30, 2011
256
1
Santa Barbara
Try to go to a carrier store. For fun I drove by the apple store, verizon store and att store the night before the 5 launch, the only line was at the apple store and it was close to 20 people long.
 

nostresshere

macrumors 68030
Dec 30, 2010
2,640
239
After all:

Almost nobody knows how many they will have in stock.
NOBODY knows how many people will be in line.
NOBODY knows out of those in line, which want the same model you want.
NOBODY knows what time any of those people will get in line.

NOBODY KNOWS.


Once you can answer some of those questions, you will have a better idea how long it will take.
 

syclick

macrumors regular
Jan 19, 2009
242
0
But aren't there tons of employees on deck, so that multiple customers are being processed at a time? Why is it so slow?
That's definitely been my experience. Back at the iPhone 5 launch in Sacramento, they had quite a few employees processing orders. Went much quicker that I had expected.
 

jev425

macrumors 6502
Sep 12, 2014
411
92
Seattle, WA
I have two different experiences in Central Florida. There are three Apple stores in the metro area and countless carrier stores.

The first was with the iPhone 4 which, so far has been exactly like the launch of the iPhone 6. First, it's a new form factor. They processed pre-orders in the same way and had record sales before it even launched. One major difference is that there weren't rumors about shortages. Anyway, arrived at my local in-mall Apple store at 10 PM on Thursday night (the night before the launch) to find 30 people already there. Planted my chair and hung out and had a good time with the people around me. By 7:30, (this will sound like an exaggeration) there were several hundred people in line. Thanks to the pre-order pickup line being worked along side the walk-in line, the walk-in line moved unbearably slow once the store opened. I was 32nd in line and finally received my phone at 12:30 PM. By then there were easily (another one that will sound outlandish, but isn't) over a thousand people in line inside the mall. It was unbelievable.

Last year for the 5S, I went to my local AT&T corporate store at 1 AM Thursday night and was the first person there. I felt a little foolish frankly, but planted my chair anyway. At about 3:30 somebody else rolled in and people slowly started to trickle in from there. By 8 AM when the store opened, there were maybe 40 people in line and I was in and out in less than 5 minutes. This wasn't a new form factor and most iPhone users were not eligible for upgrade.

I expect this launch to go similarly to the iPhone 4 launch.
Do you recall the pre-order line moving faster at all and was it just as long as the walk-in?
 

DravenGSX

macrumors 6502a
Aug 20, 2008
577
51
Do you recall the pre-order line moving faster at all and was it just as long as the walk-in?

The pre-order line was a continuous stream. Basically, they had one employee for walk-ins and all of the rest were processing the pre-orders.
 

Hezzerlah

macrumors member
Sep 24, 2012
33
0
Columbus, OH
My iPhone 4 experience was similar to those that have already posted. I arrived at my local Apple Store around 4am and the line was approx. 100 people. By the time the store opened there were almost 1,000 people in line. I was one of the last people to actually get a phone that day and I had to take a 32GB instead of the 16GB I was originally after. There were many employees processing orders but understandably their systems were slow and crashing. It was a 9 hour process from getting in line till I walked out the door with my phone unactivated.

For the 5 launch I preordered for in-store pickup. That process took around 3 hours, again the system was overloaded and again I didn't get to activate my phone till much later in the day at home. I had my 1 month old daughter with me for that one, thank god newborns sleep 95% of the day ;)

For those keeping score that would make my daughter 2 years old now for this launch. There way NO WAY I'm taking a toddler into a line like that. So I got my happy ass up at 3am last Friday and got my preorder in for delivery Friday and I just hope to be able to get it activated at some point on Friday baring more system failure.
 

techiegirl

macrumors 65816
Sep 7, 2007
1,143
171
DH has camped out overnight for the past few phones. He goes there after the kids are tucked in bed and is usually within the 1st 10 people. When he's one of the 1st 10 people, he's usually out of the store by 8:30.

By 5 am, it'll be 100 deep and there's no way you can get out of there in an hour.
 

Krevnik

macrumors 68040
Sep 8, 2003
3,220
627
The local store for me has been getting better at handling the demand every year, although the demand gets bigger every year.

For the 4, I had it delivered. No sweat.
For the 5, I was in line at about 5:30, was out of the store at around 9:30-10am.
For the 5s, I was in line at about 5:30, and was out of the store by 10-10:30am, but was actually a lot further back in the line than with the 5.

The time will vary on the store, and when you get into line. But in general, if you want to be out by a certain time, you will need to be pretty early to do it. I'm done with waiting in line myself, and prefer staying up late one night to get the order in. That way I can read a book in comfort while I wait instead of outside camped out.
 

jlake02

macrumors 68020
Nov 2, 2008
2,258
1
L.A.
I'm done with waiting in line myself, and prefer staying up late one night to get the order in. That way I can read a book in comfort while I wait instead of outside camped out.
I greatly prefer that, too, but this preorder was such a debacle. :( I was power refreshing for 2+ hours before I could get my order in. :mad:


:apple:
 

itjw

macrumors 65816
Dec 20, 2011
1,088
6
I want to get the iPhone on launch day by waiting outside at a store. Is it really going to take the whole morning just to get my hands on an iPhone? I am planning on getting there at 7:30AM, and wishing to get out of there by 9:30AM at the latest. I know the phone is not out yet, its not Friday, but if anyone has past experience with older iPhone launches, please share your experience. I want a phone ideally without taking up an entire day, but I read a post somewhere that getting the phone on launch day required getting there in the AM and leaving at 3PM... that seems ridiculous.
Let me guess, you want a 64GB Plus too?

LOL

Ya, no. If you're planning on going to an Apple store, you can expect the line to be several HUNDRED deep by 730AM. At that point, even if they get through 5 people every 10 minutes, it will take you hours to get to the front, and that's assuming you're ok with settling.

My hunch is after the first 20-30 folks it's going to be a lot of Space Gray 6's in 16GB, but at absolute best it isn't going to be a Plus, so scratch that theory right now.