Well, iPhone-day has come and gone, and the customer reports seem to be generally positive on Techmeme.
I managed to get two iPhones after a 1 1/2 hour wait in line at an Apple store. Although normally waiting in line for anything drive me a little batty, this line was actually fun because of the festive mood of all the people in line.
Although they were all strangers, we shared a common enthusiasm for all things Apple. I'd bought work stuff to go through while in line, and ended up talking to folks for all the time in line.
It was almost sad to say goodbye, when each of us finally arrived at the Apple counter to select and pay for our iPhones.
I asked the rep if he was selling many 4 Gigabyte models that were a $100 cheaper than the $599, 8 Gigabyte models. He said barely anyone was ordering the 4 Gig models.
No Apple accessories were available for the iPhone, except for extra chargers and cables. The store didn't have the Apple-designed bluetooth headphone. But there were plenty of third party iPhone accessories to choose from, including bluetooth headphones, cases, and car chargers.
The lines were very well organized inside the stores, and moved pretty quickly.
The Apple folks had done a great job organizing the whole thing. The lines were orderly, and Apple employees came out regularly, even to the very end of a very long, snaking line, to give updates on the process, and provide tacit assurances that they had enough iPhones for everybody.
They even had an Apple cart with Starbucks coffee,and another with Smart-brand bottles of water for everyone.
It was a party.
Coming home and activating the phones was another story.
As widely reported, the iPhones don't do anything until activated via AT&T/Cingular, other than allow you to make an emergency call.
After entering my info for each phone, I got a screen saying "AT&T is activating your iPhone, the process could take up to 3 minutes".
Then in each case, I got a web page saying that the activation would take more time, and that AT&T would email me when the activation was complete.
I got an email two hours later informing me that my wife's iPhone was activated.
It's now over 8 hours on the other phone, and still haven't received an activation email on mine.
Online forums say that AT&T was "surprised" by the wave of activations, and overwhelmed. Waits of up to 24 hours are being suggested by AT&T reps when you get them on the phone.
The toll-free support lines at AT&T are being picked up within a few minutes. The operators are friendly and apologetic enough for the delays, so that's a good thing.
All in all, the experience was about what one might expect, given the deluge of first-day orders and activations.
If you haven't gotten yours, would recommend going tomorrow to an Apple store rather than an AT&T store, if possible. Number of folks in my line yesterday had anecdotal reports that the AT&T stores were running out of the 8 Gigabyte models.
The Apple store seemed to have a good supply of both.
Happy hunting, and a great fourth of July weekend to you all.
UPDATE: My iPhone finally got activated via AT&T about 9 hours after data submission.