Getting hold of an iPhone4

iPhone4's Retina Display

I’ve had my first generation iPhone for over almost 3 years, so I felt I was due for an upgrade. When I read some of the speculative blog posts pointing towards a higher resolution camera and a better screen, I felt my upgrade would come with the fourth iteration of the iPhone. When I saw the keynote, I was taken aback. Steve Jobs may be a fine purveyor of hyperbole, but the iPhone4′s design and features were there to champion his cause. I had to get the iPhone4.

I’ve never queued for a product launch before, preferring instead to wait a while; avoid the launch-day craziness with its myriad fanboys and fangirls, and enter a shop at my convenience.

I had to get the iPhone4.

Queueing for the iPhone4

So – I headed into my local town centre, and prepared to queue for a product launch. I was expecting two or three people, but almost had to laugh when I saw some 20 or so standing in line. Clearly, this wasn’t going to be a quick wait, and my laughter belied a realisation that I might not get my hands on my phone due to limited units.

It’s curious, then, that the staff in the shop didn’t inform the awaiting masses if their wait would prove fruitless. They did so only when their stock had reduced to three units, with most of the people leaving after a long wait. I found it to be very inadequate that this wasn’t a consideration for them. People leaving the shop during the waiting period were too happy to speak.

I left the queue with a feeling of inevitability. There was, however, still some hope, though judging by the hush around the Vodafone shop, my hope was probably unfounded. In fact, I’d noticed that the Vodafone shop was quiet for the entire time that I stood outside the O2 shop. I was amazed when I was told that yes, they did have an iPhone, and that I could have it.

I opted not to get a PAC code, not to keep my number. I felt if I delayed, I’d be without what I’d set out to attain. The friendly assistant told me that they’d had only 5 iPhones in stock, and that I’d got the last one. I found this out when somebody further up the O2 queue came in and was told there were none left. Any guilt was tempered by a feeling of jubilation. No. There was no guilt.

Clearly, I’m not the only fan of the latest iteration, but there are already reports of reception problems. I can confirm that I’ve noticed a drop in the number of bars when I’ve actually held the phone. This isn’t acceptable, but I haven’t had any dropped calls so far. Although the problem can be resolved using ‘bumpers’ to isolate the phone from the user’s hand, these are an extra cost. Not an ideal situation, particularly when it’s been reported by so many users.