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Re: [wpmac] [OT] You have to get a "God machine" . . .

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  • John Rethorst
    ... Well, good luck: New York Times, June 27, 2007 Waiting for the Latest in Wizardry By KATIE HAFNER SAN FRANCISCO, June 26 — At the Apple store on Fifth
    Message 1 of 5 , Jun 26, 2007
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      --- In wordperfectmac@yahoogroups.com, Cydne <chinamartine@...> wrote:
      >
      > You are a mean cruel man, Sir! I'm trying so hard to ignore that
      > (currently unaffordable) little jewel.

      Well, good luck:

      New York Times, June 27, 2007

      Waiting for the Latest in Wizardry

      By KATIE HAFNER

      SAN FRANCISCO, June 26 — At the Apple store on Fifth Avenue
      in New York, the first in line are already camped out.
      Sightings of the device already in the possession of a
      privileged few were being reported, even photographed and
      posted on the Internet. Rumors have it that shipments are
      arriving in the dark of night, accompanied by armed guards.

      All this for a cellphone. Steve Jobs, known for his
      marketing wizardry, has apparently convinced thousands of
      people that the Apple iPhone is no ordinary phone. But even
      those accustomed by now to the Apple chief executive's
      well-orchestrated product rollouts are struck by the
      frisson of anticipation he has managed to generate. By one
      estimate, two-thirds of the population of the United States
      seem to be aware of the device, which combines a cellphone
      with an iPod with Internet access. It will finally be
      available at 6 p.m. Friday — but only to those willing to
      wait in lines that promise to stretch for blocks. Wall
      Street analysts expect Apple and its partner AT&T to sell
      about three million phones within the first weeks.

      "It's masterful when you really think about it," said
      Jeremy Horwitz, the editor in chief of iLounge, a popular
      online publication read by iPod and iTunes users. "Ask
      yourself how many companies can announce a product six
      months in advance and not just sustain public interest but
      even build the frenzy. It's staggering to me."

      Pre-introduction product hype and hysteria is not new, of
      course. Just ask any 12-year-old Harry Potter fan or
      middle-age Star Wars cultist. Last year, video game addicts
      slept on sidewalks outside Sony stores to be the first to
      buy the PlayStation 3. But ever since Apple first let the
      world know about the Macintosh computer in 1984, with its
      Super Bowl commercial, the company has become the
      standard-bearer in drum roll marketing for consumer
      electronics.

      Trent Lapinski, 20, a Web developer in Huntington Beach,
      Calif., has spent hours systematically researching the best
      store to find the device. Late last week, he drove to four
      AT&T and Apple stores in an effort to find an advantage.
      An employee at an AT&T store tipped off Mr. Lapinski to
      another AT&T store tucked into a new housing development
      where no one has moved in yet. "They told me there probably
      won't be anyone there, so maybe I'll take my chances
      there," he said.

      Ismail Elshareef, 31, a software engineer in Los Angeles,
      has his equipment — sleeping bag, sleeping pad, camping
      chair, sweatshirt, sweat pants, breath mints and Chuck
      Palahniuk novel — and strategy in place. On Saturday, he
      switched phone service from T-Mobile to AT&T. He plans to
      go to the Apple store at a nearby mall Wednesday night, and
      if a line is already forming, he will join it. If not, he
      will return Thursday morning at 5 a.m.

      The iPhone is arriving tightly wrapped in Apple's trademark
      secrecy. Employees at the 164 Apple stores and 1,800 AT&T
      Wireless stores were trained this week in how to use the
      iPhone, but they were given few other details that might
      come in handy. On Saturday, three employees at a store near
      Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh — clad in T-shirts
      given to all Apple store employees last week that read,
      "June 29. The wait is almost over" — tried to offer
      whatever advice they could to a patron wondering what time
      she should arrive on Friday.

      Until yesterday, they did not know how to activate the
      phones, or what they could tell customers about service
      contracts with AT&T. They certainly did not know how many
      iPhones their store would receive.

      To fill the information gap, Web sites devoted to
      Apple-related news are reporting that shipments of the
      iPhone from Asia (via a "Hong Kong-based air courier") are
      accompanied by armed guards, and that all camera-enabled
      devices are being banned from Apple store stockrooms.
      Gridskipper.com mapped where the closest public restrooms
      and other necessities are to a dozen Apple stores. The rate
      plan — that is right, the rate plan — generated headlines
      Tuesday morning after the AT&T and Apple announcement. (The
      basic plan is $60 a month for 450 voice minutes, 200 text
      messages and unlimited Web browsing.)

      One Web site caused a stir when it posted official memos
      AT&T sent to its store managers on the need for stanchions
      to keep the anticipated crowds on the sidewalk in lines, as
      well as a how-to script, which seemed to be written for
      sixth-graders, for speaking to building landlords about
      security.

      At an AT&T Wireless store in downtown Sacramento, where
      iPhone posters were already in place, an employee noted the
      high degree of secrecy being demanded by Apple, adding that
      his job was on the line if he said too much.

      Customers, in the meantime, are being teased with
      television commercials and a lengthy tutorial recently
      released on the Apple Web site. By late last week, in the
      windows of Apple stores around the country, giant mockups
      of the iPhone ran a video showing off the already fabled
      convergence of capabilities: e-mail messaging,
      high-resolution video, music and full-scale Web browsing.
      At $500 or $600, depending on the amount of memory, the
      4.8-ounce device is expensive by any standards. And early
      reviews are already mixed. Yet little is likely to deter
      those who have their minds made up.

      Jessica Rodriguez, 24, a student at Boricua College in New
      York City, nabbed the fourth place in line outside the
      Apple store on Fifth Avenue by 10 a.m. Tuesday. Ms.
      Rodriguez seemed more interested in the event than the
      actual phone. She said she planned to buy the phone for her
      sister as a birthday gift, but will buy one for herself,
      too, if she is allowed to buy two.

      Ann Switzer, an artist who lives in Larkspur, Calif., just
      north of San Francisco, stood outside the Apple store in
      nearby Corte Madera, mesmerized by the big-screen video
      loop.

      Ms. Switzer said she knew she should wait a few months,
      "just to make sure it's going to be everything Apple says
      it's going to be." No sooner had she said this, however,
      than she found emotion trumping practicality. "But, oh my
      God, I'd love to have one of these."

      For those who cannot or will not wait in line, there are
      dozens of listings on CraigsList from people around the
      country offering their services as "line waiters." They say
      they will get in line a day ahead of time, for around $250.
      Within hours of posting his offer to sit in line at the
      Apple store in San Francisco for $300, Daniel Roberts, 27,
      a Web engineer, said he got three takers.

      And what will happen on Friday at 6? "It's going to be like
      the world's biggest bra sale at Macy's, with screaming,
      shoving and yelling," said a former advertising executive
      who used to work on the Apple account. "Then everyone who
      gets one will be like postinjection heroin addicts, sitting
      there placidly with their iPhones."
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