My friend Tim tweeted, "I just don't get the standing in hours long lines to get a particular consumer good." I chuckled and replied, "But it's an iPHONE!" The guy has many admirable traits, but he just doesn't understand cool when he sees it. That's OK, I love him anyway, and he got me thinking about all of the things I have stood in line for and whether or not it was really worth it.
- Back when I was a young and poor military wife, I had to do my commissary shopping on payday. Not only did this mean fighting the cart-to-cart traffic, it also meant standing in line to check out for at least an hour -- sometimes more than an hour. Such was life at a huge military base on payday.
- I once stood in line for six hours, waiting for an AAFES Toyland to open, in hopes of getting the much-coveted Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles that my son desperately wanted for Christmas.
- That same year, I stood in line for a live Christmas tree for 12 hours. And I did it again the next year, too.
- Would you ever stand in line for four hours to get a Burger King Whopper? Well I did it -- and so did a whole lot of Americans stationed overseas who hadn't had any "real" fast food in years.
When I think about all of that line standing and waiting and ask myself if I'd do it again if I had the chance to live my life over again, the answer is a big, fat YES. Some things are worth standing in line for, and an iPhone is one of those things, even though 26 percent of all iPhones break within two years. I think the number is higher, how about you? My family members and I have had to replace at least six iPhones prior to or right at the two-year mark because of touchscreen or battery issues. I'm babying my iPhone 3gs right now because I'm not eligible for an upgrade until ... February of 2011. (You can find out if you're eligible by sending dialing *639# and a text will be sent to your iPhone with your eligibility date.) I wasn't serious when I joked around about trying to break my iPhone 3gs so I could get a new phone in the comments of Virginia's post about the iPhone 4 announcement.
The day after I joked around about breaking my iPhone to get a new one, my iPhone did some horrible things. I dialed into a conference call in the middle of a panic attack about my iPhone. (I'm not kidding, my co-workers can tell you that I was a little hysterical.) TW popped the sim card out for me, and it started working again. I backed up my phone, looked for firmware updates, shrugged and went about my business. Until last Sunday when a text message buzzed in at 11:30 p.m. I got out of bed to see who was buzzing so late. I was worried about my 20-year-old who was stranded in NYC at the time. When I pushed the home button to access the text ... I got a black screen. And no matter what I tried, it wouldn't power up. At 2:30 a.m. I ended up making an appointment with the Genius bar, and I didn't get much sleep after that. (Turns out it was TW's phone that buzzed in a text message, but that's another story.)
So here I am, eight months away from an eligible upgrade, and my iPhone is really not happy. It freezes. It powers down suddenly. It won't power up. And it gets a little bit hot a little bit sooner than it used to. I'm not going to make it to February 2011, and that's annoying, but the iPhone rocks my life enough that I'll shell out the extra cash when I can't hold out any longer -- and yes, I'd be standing in line right now and walk away with the new iPhone 4 if I were eligible for that upgrade today.
Here are some of the reasons why I think the iPhone 4 is worth standing in line for -- and worth buying outside of your eligible upgrade period:
- iOS4 folders, (You can get these if you install the IOS4 firmware on your 3g phone right now -- and I have. They're great, create some yourself.)
- Improved display, and it's faster too!
- Better camera with a flash
- Multi-tasking! (Also available for 3gs iPhones that update to iOS4.)
I'm watching the blogosphere unwrap its new iPhones, and of course the complaints about some of the cool new features are starting to come in. There seems to be a reception problem when you hold the phone the "wrong way". Steve Jobs is a funny guy, don't you think? And, there are some yukky yellow spots that may or may not go away. I hope they do, the new display really is one of the things I can't wait to have!
So what do you think? Is the iPhone 4 worth waiting in line for? If it isn't -- what is?
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