Indulging in breakfast while waiting for the Apple Store to open

My poor 3 year-old BlackBerry Bold 9000 – it was my first smartphone and it served me well.  But all good things must come to an end … especially when its battery no longer holds a charge.

Knowing that I was due for a new device, I took a few months to research Android vs. iOS and finally decided to switch over to an iPhone 4S — but planned to wait until late November to allow the early adopters time to get in and get out of the way.  Unfortunately, my BlackBerry forced me to make other plans – its death rattle became too much to ignore and I really needed a phone that won’t brick itself at 80% battery life.  I checked with my local AT&T store and discovered they weren’t expecting any new iPhone shipments until mid-December.  I had a mild panic attack wondering how on earth I could live without communication for another month.  Then, after talking with my friend, Becca (who was able to walk into her Apple store and purchase a 4S), I decided to try purchasing directly from the Apple store.

With no expectations of anything but disappointment, I figured I’d call an Apple store and find out if it was possible to get a phone before Christmas.   I went to Apple.com to find a phone number and found out that they were taking online reservations for the 4S.  They accept reservations after 9pm for pickup the next day — and much to my amazement they released some stock in the exact model I wanted.  I clicked the “reserve” button and received an e-mail confirmation that assured me I’d have a phone waiting for me on Saturday.  The process seemed far too simple, but OK.

A crowd gathers in front of the Apple store

Got up early on Saturday, took a long drive in beautiful weather with good music, and arrived at my destination early enough to indulge in a decadent breakfast of gluten-free scones and a rooibos chai steamer. Once I was stuffed full of scones and tea, I sat outside in the sunshine for a bit of knitting.  No idea why I was surprised to see people lining up in front of the store waiting for it to open … but I was.  Were they all waiting for phones?  About 40 people rushed in when the doors opened.  Once the crowd was inside, I wandered in and was greeted by a Blue Shirt – I told her I had an iPhone reservation and she ushered me to some ropes where I started a line (I was surprised there weren’t 39 people ahead of me).  Another Blue Shirt came to assist me; he pulled up my reservation and my carrier contract, had my device delivered to our table (by another Blue Shirt), activated and set up my phone, and handed me over to yet another Blue Shirt (with an impressive toolkit of organized cables) who transferred my contacts from my BlackBerry to my new iPhone.

Wow.  I have to say that I’m impressed.  Yes, I’ve heard about the customer service, but I haven’t purchased anything from an Apple store before so I was still pretty amazed by the seamless purchase and set-up process.  Mostly I’m relieved to have a reliable working phone again – along with some fun technology to keep me entertained.

Of course, my plans for the day went out the window as I spent the entire afternoon setting up the phone and trying to figure out what it can do.  I’ll pay for my dalliance tomorrow when I have to squeeze all my weekend chores into a single day — but I reckon I’ll survive.  In the meantime, I’m going to stay up a bit later to rip some new CDs into iTunes and sync my music to my (old) iPod and (new) iPhone.  Perhaps I can use the new music as an incentive to get my work done tomorrow.  Especially if the 4S will work with my speaker docks!