Sunday, July 1
June 30, 2007
Jovan Washington holds up the box containing his new iPhone. Washington paid $560.67 for the phone and a carrying case.
By LARRY SINGER
Index-Journal staff writer
After a multimillion dollar advertising campaign set the hearts of Apple computer lovers and technology buffs aflutter, the long wait to own the coolest cell phone around is finally over.
The iPhone is finally here.
Being among the first to get one wasn’t all fun and games.
It took several hours of waiting in the summer heat and at least $500, but to the Apple faithful, it was worth it.
To prepare for the anticipated onslaught of phone purchasers, employees of the AT&T store in Greenwood closed and locked the store’s doors at 4 p.m., and, with a Greenwood Sheriff’s deputy standing guard, only three purchasers at a time were allowed in two hours later.
Once they were inside the store and seated at one of three desks, each new iPhone owner had to listen to a five minute speech by an AT&T employee explaining what computer software was needed to activate the phone and how they would have to pay a 10 percent restocking fee if, after purchasing the phone, they had buyers’ remorse and decided to return it for a refund.
Some of the nine people standing in line when the doors opened were still debating if the $500 and $600 pricetags on the gadgets was worth the gimmickry, a few were contemplating selling their iPhone for a profit in an online auction, while others, laden with cash and credit cards smiled, knowing they were going to walk away with the communication device of their dreams.
William Barnhill was the first in line, but not quite sure if he was going to shell out the money for a device that might be hard to use by people with chubby fingers or those wearing gloves.
“I’ve been wavering back and forth,” Barnhill said, “It all depends whether or not I want to switch from Verizon or not, because the $600 price tag is kind of steep.
Barnhill said one of the reasons he would consider switching is the quality and elegance of the iPhone, but the low quality of the AT&T service between Florence, where he travels frequently, and Greenwood was a negative factor in his decision-making process.
Raymond Ruff, who lives in Greenwood County and was the second person in line, was totally sold on the iPhone.
“It has impressive technology,” Ruff said. “Also, AT&T has better reception where I work.”
Ruff said the high cost of the phone was not a factor in his decision.
“The price of the iPhone is probably pretty comparable to other smartphones,” Ruff said, “Maybe a little more.”
Jovan Washington also was positive that he was going to drive away with the coolest phone in his neighborhood.
“It’s revolutionary,” Washington said. “It has many features that other phones don’t have, and I’m here to get that phone because it’s really going to ease up my life. I like the features and organization that it has. I also like Cingular.”
Elizabeth Meadows admitted she was going to get the new phone because she loves everything Apple produces.
“I’m really excited,” Meadows said. “Who wouldn’t want a Mac product? I grew up with an Apple IIGS. Every Apple product I’ve ever had has been easy to use, beautiful, simple and works great. Apple products just have great quality.”
Posted by JoCoWash