I just posted the following as a comment on a blog as to why I already purchased the iPhone 3G. I thought it might be appropriate to share on my blog as well. Enjoy.
I’ll try to keep this short and simple, but don’t be surprised if you get a short novel. I am a little offended that the beginning of this post [original blog linked above] begins with such bias as to say that if Steve Jobs branded a sandwich with the Apple logo a line would form to buy it. Give most Apple “fanboys” a little more credit than that.
I personally have an Apple logo tattoo (for the letter A in my wife’s name as she converted me to Apple). I also have a Burton tattoo on my foot. Why are both of my tattoos commercial companies? They represent two of my biggest passions in life (snowboarding and computers/technology/internet). They are also the best companies in the world for customer service as far as I am concerned. They simply cannot be beat at keeping their customers happy.
With this bias established, allow me to begin why I personally already got the iPhone 3G (when 12 or so other people in my office didn’t even though they all have original iPhones).
I woke up at 2:30 this morning and made it to the Apple store in San Tan Villages by 3:40ish so I could ensure a good spot in line. There are a few reasons for this. First, I knew I wanted a white iPhone (the 16GB model only, which is fine as I wanted a 16GB model to begin with). I nearly maxed out my last iPhone in a matter of months with hundreds of educational podcasts, and thousands of photos. I also got up and stood in line so early so that I could ensure I wouldn’t be waiting in line for 5+ hours in the scorching sun when I could be working instead. I’m glad I did.
I made it through the doors at 8:03, and was being given my white iPhone by 8:10. It took 30+ minutes for activation with AT&T to go through (server issues in the store). It also took another 45 minutes to try and activate the software. Was it worth the wait? Absolutely. I spent 4.5 hours waiting for the store to open in a nice drizzle and occasional downpour. I personally occupied one Apple representative for an hour and fifteen minutes. I never even got my phone activated due to server issues. It happened partially at 10:30 this morning and fully around noon. I’m very technologically savvy (as a web developer / application programmer) and had no concern with activating the software in iTunes myself later. Most customers aren’t comfortable with that. I can’t imagine how long the 70-100th customers in line had to wait (or may still be waiting) in order to get and activate their iPhones. That’s why I stood in line. I could care less about it being cool.
As to why I’m buying the iPhone 3G. I love my original iPhone. With a passion. I swear up and down by it despite the few features it was missing. In comparison to my Blackberry Pearl it was like the invention of the steam engine. Nothing has been the same ever since. I spend a good amount of time surfing the web, checking e-mail, reading news / twitter posts, etc. all on a non-wireless connection. I did the same thing on my blackberry and paid for internet on it as well. I always will. It’s just a core part of my life as it is my livelihood and one of my biggest hobbies. 3G just makes sense for me. It doesn’t for my wife. She browses occasionally. Although she loves her iPhone, she’s content with it now. I have longed for 3G since before the iPhone was announced. Now I’m content (mostly).
Another huge factor for me with 3G is that I used to pay for data-card access via my laptop with Sprint. In a few weeks I can hack my iPhone (if the need arises) and have tethered internet to my laptop. All as part of my data plan I’m already paying for with AT&T. I’ve only had to do this once in the past year, and hopefully not again anytime soon. But if I do, I have the capability and much better speeds now. And that saves me $60 / month alone with faster data speeds.
I also love the headphone jack finally being flush and working with normal headsets. Little things we take for granted until they are missing. And the GPS element was what put the icing on the cake. Not anything I need as I have a GPS already, but it makes the cost much easier to justify.
All-in-all, the iPhone 3G has all the features I need at a price point I can’t refuse. The iPhone 2.0 software update will take away 95% of my hacked iPhone needs. The only things I’m missing currently are Terminal (for remote web server administration), IRC (for remote chat collaboration), and tethering. All of which I will still be able to get through hacking in a short time-frame if essentially needed. Hopefully a few of those will be solved through the App Store as most of my other needs already have been.
Hope this helps to clarify why there are lines outside of the Apple store for major product releases. It’s not about being cool unless you’re a teenager. Some of us actually need / want these things badly enough because of how well they improve our performance and how convenient they make our typical mundane tasks.