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back to article Diary of a somebody - life in iPhone 4 land

Our correspondent works at a phone store somewhere in the UK. We can't tell you which, because if we do he'll probably lose his job. What we can tell you is that it's one of the ones without any iPhones... June 23rd 08:00 Arrived in work to wait on the delivery. The new iPhone is due out tomorrow so it should hopefully be chock …

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apple w@nkerz

Nice amusing piece of writing.

"What is it about Apple products that makes otherwise rational human beings behave like complete maniacs?"

No, not a rational human being. The question is "what is it about apple products that attracts so many tw@ts?"

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@lucsan

You think it has anything to do with Apple? It has nothing whatsoever to do with Apple, and is entirely due to the fact the world is rife with fucking offensive assholes, who are the real twats.

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Happy

Oh

Have apple launched a new phone then? You would have thought someone would have said something

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Badgers

WTH??

A new iPhone? That would explain the presence of queues, filled with incontinent people waiting for a product that will soon be out of date, will be locked to a narrow range of suppliers, that has significant problems with the new silly aerial (remember the Squarial anyone?) I'll wait until IBM release a mePhone, on MS DOS 3.22, or 6x. ;-)

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Anonymous Coward

Quite amusing

Loved it, a little slice of real people having to deal with "users"!

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This post has been deleted by a moderator

FAIL

@AC

Yeah, like when they give you two Android handsets for the price of one, is that what you mean?

Any company that knowingly holds back production to create a sense of something is stupid - there are far too many competitors ready and willing to take your money once you decide to spend it. You think Apple produce too few on purpose? How silly. A sale today is worth 2 tomorrow is how the saying goes, and I don't believe any of that shit about holding back.

Being able to keep up with demand on day one for a phone that only gets updated every year and isn't pre-announced 18 months in advance (which is what M$haft like to do) creates pent up demand which they try and satisfy as best they can.

iTurd? No, but uTurd.

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FAIL

nintendo hate profit

that's right, they had tons of wiis that they could've sold but they just wanted to be awkward about it. Hate profit those nintendo boys...

When they announced the wii everyone thought they had no chance of beating Sony and Microsoft. So why would they produce millions of them just in case they sold out? They were also caught out when demand didn't dry up after the first christmas season. During the summer, when they normally get to stockpile product, they were still selling all the wiis they could make.

And I don't think the comparison between nintendo products and apple's is particularly fair. Yes, the wii front end and the iPhone front end are similarly simple, but wii was never targetted as a lifestyle, do anything product. It was marketed as a bit of fun, and that's why it sold so well.

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The media..

I like Apple products, I use a Macbook, I've got an iPhone (I've queued for neither of them) but I too am getting pretty sick and tired of all the Apple articles. I can't really blame Apple for it though. If Jobs announces the next iPhone will be one millimeter shorter, every single effin 'tech' website jumps on it for a week, comparing the previous phone with the one millimeter shorter one, assessing the consequences for people with shorter or bigger hands, analysing the history of measurements and units, blah blah effin blah..

I guess if these websites and newspapers have nothing better to write that's about as good a journalistic output you can expect from them. It's they who create the hype, not Apple.

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Stop

re: the queue was massive but all got served

In Birmingham, the queue was massive. I asked the Apple guy at the end was it worth joining, he asked had I reserved one... I thought it was first come first served? Anyways, turns out, no, it wasn't worth joining the queue. A colleague got one from Phones4U just round the corner tho, no queue at all (but they don't do unlocked ones)

I was in two minds about getting one, as it turns out simply holding the phone degrades the signal significantly in certain circumstances. Probably best to wait until they deny it then quietly iron that problem out...

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HOLDING the phone degrades the signal?

Well, of course it will. You're not meant to HOLD the phone in your grubby human hands, FFS!

The iPhone should be placed on a pedestal approximately 2 feet in height, in front of which you can then kneel and talk should the device deign to place a call for you. Genuflection is optional, but encouraged.

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@Ian K

You, Sir, owe me a new monitor.

and a new job if I keep laughing; judging from the look on the boss's face!

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Attaboy

@Ian: you show proper understanding of doctrine, you will go far.

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Jobs Horns

Noika stand in Brum

I was amused by Nokia setting up a special demo stand right next to the iPhone 4 queue at the Birmingham Apple store. Now off to get me a nice and shiny Nokia X6.

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Happy

Demise of high street phone shops? We can only hope.

I loathe high street phone shops Most of them seem to be understaffed by extremely pushy sales-people and overpriced accessories. Never a pleasant shopping experience.

Seems to me like Apple are of the same opinion and are using these tactics to drag people into their own Apple stores so that they have more control over the sales 'experience'. Apple is all about keeping loyal customers by making them feel like they are special. The middlemen in the phone shops just get in the way.

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Diary of a nobody

was a lot funnier (not that I didn't like the article). I was rather hoping we'd get some Comings and Goings or an invitation to the Mayor's ball, or even a modern Lupin. Oh well, never mind.

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Happy

Doing our best!

Um, well, I work for one of the big mobile phone high street multiples (hence posting AC this once) and though we have had limited iPhone 4 deliveries from all three networks who currently have it, I can tell you we have bust a gut to do this in as fair a way as possible and to keep our customers happy, where that's achievable with the stock and resources, processes we have.

It's the old capacity conundrum; it's not cost effective to plan and provide for the maximum demand on systems/people that we could ever have (so that we could do something like this whenever we wanted, without breaking into a sweat), but neither can we expect to cope without some kind of extra resource and effort.

All the players in a launch like this make a call where to draw the line, and inevitably it means some frustration for some customers...

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Thank You

Quite a lot of noise from the folks who are on the other side of the coin from the insistent blowhard boor described in the diary. The other side being "I'm very, very smart, I don't want any thing by Apple and so any one who wants an iPhone is an idiot."

It's a phone. Nothing extraordinary happens when you get one. Nothing dire happens if you don't.

The idea of purposely starving the supply chain only makes sense if one is confident that the product's desirability is beyond being the first one on your block to have one. It also relies on having confidence that the ones who do get it on day 1 won't say bad, indifferent, or nerd-gush (it's awesome, the RZFs are peta-giggy) things about it.

In figuring out its allocations and stocking, Apple has to make some educated guesses. The factory has an output limit of some number of units per day. Before release date, completed phones have to be stored some where and that costs money. The first day demand will be atypical. It would not make sense to run three factories for a few weeks and then cut back to one just so every one who wants an iPhone on day 1 gets it.

Even though someone who goes away empty-handed may not come back.

We all know the proverb about malice and incompetence. For some things, it's neither. Our diary-writer would have had the best week of the year, if Apple had flooded the sales channel. Apple's not going to do that. The day every store has sufficient stock for day 1 demand of an Apple product will be one of those days they release something of limited interest. Mac-Mini refresh, any one?

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Big Brother

He/She has my sympathy.

I was in the same situation for the release of the orignal Iphone and the 3G, thankfully no more.

It's really frustrating when customers are **Screaming** at you that want the latest and greatest NOW and there is nothing you can do about it.

Big brother and Anon, cos...

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a-fucken-mazing

I'm a complete apple product junkie

but even I have rules:

1) No Gen 1 Apple product. None. Ever (so no iPad)

2) No queuing ever. For anything. particularly something I can wait a few weeks for an stroll in at my leisure and pick one up.

I do wish I'd dump the christmas bonus last year into Apple stock tho

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Jobs Halo

i came, i queued, i got my iphone 4 and had a fun time too.

quote "No other phone manufacturer has these stock issues at launch every single time they launch a product."

thats because no other company sell the amount of products in the same time scale as Apple, worldwide.

ref a/c

quote "The Motorola RAZR sold 120 million units alone before you even factor in their other handsets."

... over the full 4 year lifetime of the product

and how many of those were repeats? shit I had 4 Razrs because they were so shit, freezing, rebooting, overheating. I had 3 replacements under warranty within 4 months.

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Anonymous Coward

should have read

"I came, I queued, I got my iPhone, I came".

Do all your friends, co-workers and family think you're now "the man" because you queued for a phone?

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Flame

i came, i posted, i came again

Do all your friends, co-workers and family think you're now "the man" because you AC a post on ElReg?

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FAIL

Oh yeah, oh don't stop

My freinds and co-workers think I'm the man cos I'm coming over your argument. And I'm posting anon too, so yeah, I am actually the man.

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Why ...

... does everyone want one anyway? They are by no means nice looking phones and are way behind on most features with all other providers having surpassed the tech specs monthes and years ago .... the 'It just works' argument doesnt work either as once again there is now a myriad of reports all saying signal quality is balls if the phone gets picked up? WTF something as seriously flawed as this has numpties queueing round the buildings? If you want a phone that just works and has no bullsh1t get a blackberry, its got battery life and although the browser is a bit piss everything else is superior.

I would just like to add that Im not an apple hater either and will be purchasing a MacBook Pro myself in the next few months but the iPhone is just awful in every way shape or form and having to jailbreak the most expensive phone on the market just to get any real use out of it seems like a waste of time and money.

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Joke

Crap joke alert

Does the author of this article work at an iPhonesnot4U store?

I did warn you it ws a crap joke... you've only yourselves to blame for reading it.

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Hype machine

Could i just point out to everyone who says Apple creates massive hype around their product launches, that they in fact do quite the opposite. They keep absolutely dead quiet about it until it's pretty much launched. At this point they do one keynote speech and a handlful of advertising spots on TV.

Look at the iPad, I only saw adverts for it a few days before launch yet it was 'hyped' for years... but who did that? Certainly not Apple, they denied its existence till the keynote. All the hype is done by speculating fans on the internet. By keeping quiet, Apple allows this to work into a frenzy. The fact that people on here are getting so incredibly angry, or excited, about a mobile phone is testiment to how well this works.

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@Gold Soundz

Spot on!

The other thing about not announcing months or years in advance is that they always deliver to market what they announce. They don't pre-announce, and then take back, they announce what they've already produced. There have been exceptions to this, one notably was the AppleTV, and they said it was an exception at the time.

This attitude should be the rule not the exception. You should not be able to announce a product that isn't in production ready for distribution and sale. Simple as that.

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Is Required

Just like the girl who accidentally flashes her boobs at you when she bends down...

Its not an accident, she knows what she is doing...but everyones happy, so who cares...

Of course Apple create the hype... Apple just give you a flash of its "stolen from a bar" new product, and the "hype" begins (aka advertising) ...... It wouldn't work if it wasnt so subliminal. Its all a pre written storyline.

Thats why you never saw the whole car in the Jaguar XK commercials... You cant crave something unless you have at least a rough idea on how it looks...

Its called clever marketing ...

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Apple Has You By The Balls

Like has already been said - OF COURSE APPLE HAVE ENGINEERED THIS.

Basically, Apple not only take its customers for complete donkeys - but it also takes shop/store owners for idiots too, because with it's pretend low stock, it knows full well, it's going to create queues.

When queues happen - it makes the news, as long queues for shops always do. Yawn. I've only seen this happen a million times before.

Of course, because Apple has everyone by the balls, no one can do anything about it. No shop or company is going to be brave enough to say "we'll take your stock - when you give us a decent amount - but don't patronise us with small amounts now, and leave us to deal with your customers abusing US for not having enough stock".

No one will have the balls to take on Apple over this. So they'll keep on doing it.

It will happen with all Apple products in the future. They'll purposely makes sure they never have anywhere near the amount on launch day for the number of people that want the product (even though they DO have many more available, sitting in their warehouses), and people will continue to be annoyed with shop staff, and they will continue to queue for phones, and will continue to buy them for inflated prices on ebay, and shop staff will continue to get into panics on every launch day, and shop managers will continue to be idiots about it.

If you're a store that sells Apple products, or you're an Apple fanboi, then Apple has you by the balls.

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@mrmark

You really don't understand product development. To ramp up production to meet day one demand would be completely unprofitable, and would require so much warehouse space (which costs) and logistical nightmares unheard of. On top of that there is the upfront investment in the manufacturing of these products, which then would sit there in the product as unrealised revenue. Corporations simply don't do that - it's not good budgeting. Do you know the cost of investment? It's got a price tag on it called interest.

Apple releases one phone a year, and there is no way they can meet all demand on day one, it's just not possible, so they make choices, such as ensuring only one product per household, so as many as possible are given a chance to buy the product.

Of course they could do like all the other handset manufacturers and release a different handset every other week or month (like they do) and demand on day one wouldn't be as much, but then they'd have the added problem of multiple handsets out there, all competing with each other.

There - lesson over, go back to bullying other boys on the playground.

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Bah!

Well that's the reason then - if Apple only releases one phone a year no wonder there are queues.

To judge by the lines outside the stores the demand would seem to be there for around a gross of the things.

Tsk!

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Apple happy to make life miserable for people - it generates more money

Bullying other boys on the playground? For stating the obvious? Are you mad? My moan was about the fact that APPLE are the bullys. I'm a bully for mentioning that fact?

Yes of COURSE I realise that Apple or any other company cannot be expected to please 100% or buyers on the launch day of any product - but we're talking about Apple giving suppliers less than the NORMAL amount of stocks that they will start to receive after launch day.

If you are to keep a supplier stocked up with 100 units of something frequently, but on launch day, you think that 200 people will go to that supplier asking for the unit - fair enough that 100 people might be disappointed on launch day.

But what Apple do, in a case like this, is give the supplier like 15 units on the launch day.

The amount of available phones on launch day, should be at least near the number available on any given day after that day.

As for your "so as many as possible are given a chance to buy the product", lol - do you work for Apple? Only an Apple worker or an idiot could say that with a straight face without laughing.

Of course, Apple are free to behave how everyone knows they will do - they purposely release much much less than they CAN on launch day, causing everyone else misery in the process, misery for the fanboys, and worse, misery for the people that work in the retailers that have to sell the stuff.

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WTF?

Puzzled

I wandered past the Eastbourne O2 shop today at about 2.30m, and there were more than 12 people queuing outside.

Late delivery, or was it mistakenly sent phones meant for the whole South East?

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Bronze badge

got mine :-)

I don't quite understand the venom in some posts... either you like gadgets, or you don't.

Having been through UX50 (clie and UXPC), 3d glasses, PDAs, N95s and netbooks this seemed to me to be the 'thing for my pocket' I've been wanting for the last 10 years - the 3gs has been nice the last 9 months, but the extra battery life, and HD screen + HD camera is the killers for me.

Not a pretty phone ? hmm.. well... I like it. It's very B&O actually. Feels like its made out of solid glass and steel.

It pains me that its cost me the same amount as the new 50" 1080p plasma I bought last week, but knowone buys gadgets 'cause they need them - they buy em 'cause the want them.

Some folk would rather spend their 500 quid on a surf board, or on some packs of fags. each to their own.

I did queue this morning for 3 hours.... which if I''d known I would have to, I wouldn't have, but once you are there for 30 mins, then 45 .. you sort of think you've invested time in it now that would only be wasted if you gave up.... they fed us free Millies Coffee and cookies though, which is a damn site more than say national express does when their crap trains are late..

all in all I'm a happy bunny.

p.s. think twice before cutting your old sim to fit.... I had the templates and everything and still cocked it up.

stu

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Jobs Horns

I got mine from Phones 4 U

The manager strolled up to the store at 8am and said she couldn't beleive people were waiting for the iphone.....all 4 of us.

Round the corner at the o2 store there were more than 100 people in the queue.

Me and my mate had put a deposit on ours so we were served first, all the systems were incredibly slow, it finally went through but the networks were advising up to 24 hours for all sim swaps to be processed, it was done by the time I'd got home though as my old iPhone had gone off.

Whilst we were in there a lad who worked at carphone warehouse was in there, he said it's a sackable offense to buy one of the stores stock, so I'm guessing this retailer in question is from there, the staff at the P4U store couldn't have been more different, they said they're expected to buy their phones from the company they work for!

Whilst we were in there the manager from the O2 store came in as they'd only had 40 phones delivered and were asking if it was OK to send them down....naturally they said yes!

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Silver badge

24hrs

I've worked for 2 different phone networks, and up to 24hrs is the normal time quoted for SIM swaps on a good day. If they were advising anything different, then that would be news.

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Sim

My sim transfer took up to two hours between 10 and 12 noon. Not sure how long, it was in my pocket most of that time.

What I appreciated most was the ability to restore from a backup of the old 3G. Not only are all my apps and such all there in the same state as on my old phone, but my text history, wallpaper, recent calls - everything. Does anyone else allow you to do this so easily (genuine question not snark) - I think Palms over the air updates will, but they are incrementals, not system wide OS upgrades.

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Troll

Nothing new under the sun

I am reminded of when I used to work at a Toy Shop to pay the bills while at University. Every Christmas one particular toy would be the 'must have' for children that year and the stock of that item sent to shops was appallingly low. I actually had a mother accuse me of 'ruining their precious child's Christmas' by not selling them whatever it was. Lady, if we had them, I'd gladly sell it to you!

However by March we invariably had a shop-full of the toy in question that you couldn't give away

I'm not sure why this memory of pushy morons frantically trying to obtain the latest piece of plastic tat should have been brought to mind by the above story...

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This makes me glad...

...that I don't sell mobile phones for a living any more.

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Silver badge

Why?

High Priced device that sells itself - no effort required. Sounds like lots of commision...

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Anonymous Coward

Except

Not all mobile retailers pay commission. Carphone Warehouse for a start doesn't and in fact likes to trumpet this fact in adverts. Which means that if you don't have them in stock it is a lot of grief for absolutely no reward.

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Unhappy

Hmmm...

That doesn't explain all the missile CPW blackberries I've seen over the years (no blackberry service put on the account, no mention to the customer the additional cost for same).

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So whats new

An ordinary day at Dixons?

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Unhappy

They are not rational, they have mental health problems

"makes otherwise rational human beings behave like complete maniacs" - the fact they (not just the nasty ones) are so desperate to have the product before everyone else shows a lack of rationality, possibly a lack of self esteem.

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Headmaster

Peer pressure

Generally, I think the problem is the same ol' "biggest dickus contest". Mates laughs at you because you don't have so-and-so and they do. It puts incredible pressure on some types of people.

I used to be the one to cry and run away. Now I just punch them in the face.

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Go

it's the old dichotomy, innit

Do you want to be happy? Or do you want to be knowledgeable? Ignorance is very comfortable, a bit like a bubble bath, and philosophers (and Dylan Moran) aren't exactly the most cheery bunch. When I look at iphone owners, they look happy with their purchase. I'm not sure the same quite holds true for a set of Nokia N-series owners, the Nexus One owners, or the Droid owners.

If you're happy with your iPhone, keep smiling. those people may know something you don't - they also may not, mind - but they don't look so happy when they're slagging you off.

Flames welcome, especially if they're along the lines of "bugger off you fking hippy" - i work in technology architecture and would very much appreciate a good laugh

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Gold badge

wait...

The iPhone 4 has actually launched? When did that happen?

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Well...

Proud new owners tried to phone the news, but couldn't get a signal ;)

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Coat

A wise old Games industry journalist commented once....

about the launch of the XBOX 360 I think it was, and the queuing to get one on launch day. When asked if he would be outside his local purveyor of all things consoley he said.."I queue only for food when there is a shortage. All else I can wait for."

Anyone that does queue for anything other than that which is critical to one's continued existence is a fool and deserves to be parted from their money. Enjoy your phones they are after all simply phones.

Mines the one with empty pockets.

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