Want An iPhone? Don't Go To An Apple Store

Steve Jobs told Arianna Huffington not to bother with the lines at the Apple Store when the iPhone comes out:

“Don’t go to an Apple store,” Jobs told me. “It will be a madhouse there. People will be lined up around the block, sleeping on the sidewalk to get one. Go to an AT&T/Cingular store. Most people don’t know that they will be selling them too.” Uh, they do now, Steve.

If you sleep on the sidewalk in order to buy a cellphone, you may want to consider getting professional help. —MEGHANN MARCO

Notes from the D Conference: An iPhone Tip from Steve Jobs and Genetic Info from 23andMe [Huff Po]
(Photo: Gizmodo)


Edit Your Comment

  1. rmz says:

    That’s nothing. People waited for several hours when the first In-N-Out opened in Tucson a few weeks back. :P

  2. Wormfather says:

    I’d wait months for an In-N-Out Burger


  3. coconino says:

    Talk about reverse psychology marketing. Jobs knows his craft.

  4. mikyrok says:

    I don’t know about you, but a cingular store is probably the first place I’d go looking for an iPhone…

  5. enm4r says:

    I was always under the assumption that if I wanted to sign up for ATT service and or that if I had ATT already but wanted to upgrade my phone, I’d go to an ATT store.

    I must have missed the memo that somehow implied to everyone else that the ATT stores wouldn’t be selling them.

  6. Yourhero88 says:

    I think it’s a popular corporate misconception that the common man buys his/her cellphone from a third party, like Amazon.com, or a seedy mall kiosk, and not from the service provider.

    Do they even know the grotesque amount of red tape entailed with getting a new phone, let alone one that isn’t from your service provider?

    On another note though, does this mean that the Apple stores are selling unlocked/unbranded iphones, or just inactive ones with the AT&T branding?

  7. pete says:

    Good luck with that. I’ve heard that the average Cingular store will have less than 40 iPhones at launch.
    This is gonna make the PS3 launch look like a quilting bee.

  8. segfault, registered cat offender says:

    I hope you’ll be able to order online, like you can with Cingular’s other phones, and that there’s not some special lame-ass exception for the iPhone.

  9. monaflambe says:

    Personally, I’ll wait and let everyone else work the bugs out before I jump on to that particular bandwagon.

  10. yg17 says:

    @Yourhero88: I think the Apple stores will become authorized Stinkgular dealers

  11. gamble says:

    I’ll just avoid the lines by going and standing outside my nearest apple store right now. Problem solved.

    Also, is it just me, or is the iPhone the size of Mexico?

  12. oneTee says:

    Do people really think that people are going to line up like this for the iphone? I honestly don’t see THAT many people actually buying one.

  13. mattbrown says:

    Yes, sleeping on the sidewalk is only acceptable for video game systems.

  14. TPIRman says:

    @gamble: “Also, is it just me, or is the iPhone the size of Mexico?”

    I had the same impression. Jason Kottke put together a mockup based on the dimensions listed on Apple’s website, which may or may not change your opinion. It seems to be approximately iPod size. But I think it’s tough to judge until you can hold it in person. I still find it hard to tell how big it’s going to “feel,” even with Kottke’s side-by-side comparisons.

  15. mikyrok says:

    @gamble: If Mexico is 11.6mm thick, 2.4-inches wide, and 4.5-inches tall then yes.

  16. I got to hold a mockup recently. It is quite small – smaller than my Sony-Ericsson T616 – a tiny bit wider, but much thinner, and about the same height.

  17. Buran says:

    Just order online for heavens sakes. They’ll ship it to you when it’s in stock. You do have another phone to put your SIM card in, right?

  18. tozmervo says:

    @rmz: What’s an In-N-Out Burger?

  19. Papercutninja says:

    Apple made a HUGE mistake when they pre-announced their iPhone. They usually make an announcement a few days before the product is available. Why hype it this time? The iPhone is going to be a hit anyways, so why create the buzz AND a secondary eBay/scumsucking/reseller douche market? I just don’t understand.

  20. Trackback says:

    In honor of beloved East Village shop Kurowycky Meat Products, closing tomorrow after 52 years of business.

  21. LatherRinseRepeat says:


    Before a cellular phone is made available for sale in the US, it needs to be approved by the FCC. Those FCC filings are public record, along with actual pictures of the phone. Steve Jobs wanted to announce the iPhone before one of the many gadget blog sites announced it on their own. Believe it or not, those guys dig around the FCC site everyday looking for upcoming products to blog about.


    More info here and here.

  22. itmustbeken says:

    I really am interested to see if this is going to go the same way the Motorola iTunes phone went. 4 days of hysteria and then everyone realized it stunk.

    So, Wii’s were going for $1,000 on eBay.
    iPhones? Whaddya think? $2000? More?

  23. TVarmy says:

    @Papercutninja: Their logic was that they wanted to reveal the iPhone dramatically in the typical Apple fashion. The FCC has to do an analysis of cellphones in publicly available reports that often feature pictures, but which are taken in poor lighting in a dull office environment. The avergage consumer might not find this, but places like Gizmodo and Engadget would, and the early adopters would have their first impressions of the device formed by a boring black and white document.

    By introducing the iPhone this way, Apple keeps their dramatic introduction, and we get to see the iPhone in the context Jobs prefers.

  24. doormat says:

    I already have the ATT Wireless stores around my neighborhood memorized already. Location, what time they open, etc. I got to get one to review or my editor wont be happy.

  25. Mr. Gunn says:

    Don’t worry about the ebayers. There will be some gougers, but the people that pay those prices deserve what they get. The people that rush out to get this will be buying an image, and the more they pay for it, the better story they can tell to the guy in the next cubicle.

    The early buyers will get to think that they’re cool, and the ebayers will make a couple bucks. Everybody wins, until the ebayers lose, which will happen immediately after the “look at me, I have slicked-back hair and an iphone” market is saturated.

    I mean, if you actually look at the feature set, a Nokia N95 kills it dead in the water, so you’re essentially paying a couple hundred extra for a shiny package that, unlike every other phone on the market, is closed to third party developers.

    They’re trading on their reputation, and I’m going to laugh at the image conscious douchebags that mortgage their soul to get one in a way that I wasn’t completely able to with the ipod.