The iPhone 4S was released today. And yes, it's a pretty cool device. About the only thing an iPhone can't do is scratch your ass. (Well, maybe...) And with the issues BlackBerry has been having lately, folks are switching over to the Apple phone at an even higher rate. It also helps that almost every major cell phone carrier now offers the iPhone.
But is it really serious enough to get up at 5 a.m. and wait in line for the new version? It's not as if the phone is free. If you're eligible for an upgrade with your wireless carrier, the phone (16 G anyway) is $199.99. Prices increase as the memory does.
So, why do we do this to ourselves? I waited with some iPhone fans at Northlake Mall to find out: Who are they? Why are they here? And, does your boss know?
Chris, 25, waited in line while watching a movie on his iPad 2, with his iPhone 4 in his pocket. He said he took the day off to get his phone. And his boss already knew why he was taking the day off, since this is the third time he's done it while working at his current job.
"I got to have the newest, latest and greatest," he said. "People are willing to wait days and wake up and do crazy things for them."
Chris says he got to Northlake at 4 a.m. and he was the first person on the scene. But he left to grab some coffee from Dunkin' Donuts. When he came back, there was a line — a short line, compared to previous years.
"Last year, this store wasn't open and everybody had to go to SouthPark. I got there at a quarter to six and I didn't get my phone until 1:30 in the afternoon."
Talk about dedication.
Damien, 28, has Fridays off and the release of the iPhone4S couldn't have come at a better time for him. He's a Sprint customer and in need of an upgrade. After reading USAToday on his iPad2, he high tailed it to Northlake Mall to wait for the iPhone.
"This is a whole new territory for loyal Sprint users. I've been suffering," he said.
Damien usually gets up at 7 a.m., but the technology lover said he needed a new phone and anything would be better than his Palm Pre.
"It was supposed to be the iPhone killer two years ago," he said. "Then they went out of business."
In the front of the line were a group of guys who'd been kicked off the property at SouthPark Mall at midnight and made their way over to Northlake Mall, even though they have to work later today.
Eric and Travis, both 24, said they've had every iPhone except the 3GS.
Eric, who traveled with his iPad 2, had put in an hour of work while waiting, and Travis is scheduled to go to work at 11 a.m.
"I'm probably working until 1 p.m. today," Travis said. "Not working an eight-hour day."
So, from midnight to 5 a.m., Travis and Eric sat in the car waiting. While Eric slept, Travis played on the iPad.