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It Begins - We Wait in Line, You Wait in Line (Final Update)

Here at the Providence, RI Mall, the halls are filled with lost souls as of 5:45 am, wandering in a state of limbo, unable to queue up because of a short security guard with delusions of importance. Nevertheless, Randyman was kind enough to kick our local line off with the following photo, Will was here at 3:45 am, and the other 6 us are alternately sneaking around the halls or sitting here in the parking lot, waiting for the overzealous security guard's wristwatch to read 6am.

How's your line going?

5:58: Well now, we managed to get lined up a whole three minutes early! Mr powerful is claiming I can't take photos in front of the stores and is now hovering about our line of 20 people to make sure we don't start a pre-iPhone-riot. We're a dangerous-looking bunch, I tell ya.

6:20: Mall Security hijinks continue, we've moved a full three feet to get in line within between stanchions. More photos from the rest of the TiPb team coming soon!

6:35: Gentle Apple Employees give us RI line waiters free water:

6:40: Chad reports that the Kentwodd Towne Center in Cincinnati, Ohio has the same sort of overzealous security guards that I encountered here. They haven't opened the mall doors yet and there are around 50 people milling about outside. Chad, though, he's a TiPb'er, which means he found the back way in. WTG Chad!

6:50: They're handing out cards now detailing all the stuff we already all knew about what we need in order to be able to activate in the store. Apple store employees are chatting us up regularly now, they seem as excited as we are. My favorite security guard has read the writing on the wall as our line approaches 100 people and disappeared. OOH, they're giving away coupons for free coffee at the local shop -- though said shop isn't open yet.

7:15: The official count as of this time per the Apple guy with the clicky widget: apparently classified. We're guessing around 175, with a side of a dozen or so at the Mall's AT&T store.

7:20: DANG! Chad reports that that the Apple folks at his store have brought out demo units and are letting folks play with them as they wait in line.

7:30: Ocala, FL checks in with around 30 people in line:

7:40: Cinci's getting long!

...Alright, folks, my line is getting restless, time to close up the laptop, stand up, and pace a bit. Our unboxing, hands on, and much MUCH more coming up soon!

Here's a bit more: Jeremy says the Michigan Avenue line (Chicago, we presume) is only about 80 people (he's 35), not bad at all. Update: This is what happens when you assume things, Jeremy updates:

  • Chicago is blocks long! Sorry for confusion. Orland park store where I'm at is about 200-250. I'm 35 here*

Frank writes in from Chelsea:

This is about 1/4 of the way in! Line stretches one full city block (ave to ave) and there's the maze setup amusement park style just before the entrance to the store. Developers are solicting the line with postcards for their apps - pretty cool vibe but it could very well be a four hour wait!

And lastly, yes, even our neighbors to the north are in on the action, though clearly all the Rogers brouhaha has dampened numbers. Rene -- all alone!

The "Final Update" means that, yes, I'm back in my room and mixing down an unboxing video and photos right now!

Alright, we can't resist one more. Here's Brian's view from Salt Lake City:

Dieter Bohn

Dieter Bohn is former editor-in-chief of Smartphone Experts, writing across iMore, Windows Phone Central, Android Central, and more. You can find him on Twitter (and everywhere else) @backlon.

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There are 14 comments. Add yours.

Cool Cat says:

Your mall was open before 6am? Mayfair here in Milwaukee won't even unlock the doors until then. We're heading out now.

Rene Ritchie says:

My mall opens at 7am, much more slugabeddy and lagaboutish than your own. I'm heading out now...
Rogers willing...

Kenneth W says:

Austin, TX - AT&T Lamar/45th Store
30 in line. 12 of us are delusional. 1:45 to go.

Hassan says:

We only have 5 people in the downtown Denver AT&T store line as of 5:24 AM (mountain).

volsfan0911 says:

150 or so here in Columbia, MD. Been here since 6:00 am. They were nice enough to open mall early, guards are being nice, apple employees high fived the line all the way down to the employee entrance.

Rene Ritchie says:

in line at the mall, about 20 people. They have 40 phones...

Guy says:

Can someone exlpain this desire to wait in line for something I will not wait in line for in one or two days of which there is not a finite supply of?
I used to wait in line for Loverboy concert tickets but that was before Al Gore invented the internet.
-Turn Me Loose

john says:

went to the local AT&T store right at 8:00am and got in line - maybe 100 people - AT&T official not doing good job of informing the line - stayed with one cluster of people - I finally asked her how many units they had - 90 - so I left, as I don't want a 16G white iPhone - I'll wait until next week!

Rene Ritchie says:

Finally got an iPhone 3G! Rogers servers crashed completely and 2hrs. later were still buggy, so it took forever. I was first in, and only got out at 12:45pm, and even then my iPhone isn't activated because of the iTunes crash.
Dammit, men, we need bigger pipes! Crank that dial to infinity!

Quizzle says:

the new iphone - cool, too bad you have to use it on AT&T's crappy network. I don't know how they market saying fewest dropped calls, their service is terrible since the cingular/att merger. Did i mention that calls on the network sound like crap too?

Frustrated says:

In Austin. Line at local ATT store was long and doors were not open at 8:10 yet. Had to run to work. Came back at 10:15 and by 10:30 they were out of phone. I understand creating the hype and all, but that is just poor business. There were four people in front of me who wanted to switch to ATT from their other providers, but couldn't get a phone... Store manager said they were getting more phones in today, but wouldn't sell them until tomorrow??? What?
Went by one Apple store and line was about 500 long... complete insanity.

Lynne @ Rhode Island 4G Wireless says:

Hi, just stopped by doing some research for my Rhode Island 4g site. Truly more information that you can imagine on the web. Not what I was looking for, but very nice site. Take care.

Lynne @ Rhode Island 4G Wireless says:

Hello there, just wandered by. I have a Rhode Island 4g website. Lots of information out there. Looking for something else, but cool site. Take care.

raspberry ketones says:

Hi, I am about a stone and a half overweight and have tried eating completely healthily but due to a back injury and a problem with my foot i cannot exercise at all. I get married in august and really need to lose this weight...I am hoping this works for me. I have ordered today so will let you know in a couple of weeks.debbie