Allright. I fall into a couple of categories now. Some would say stupid while others might say early-adopter. I already know I’m an obsessed Apple fanatic since 1987, but I still don’t have Steve Jobs tattoed on my forearm…yet.

Earlier today, I stood in the heat of the summer sun to be one of the first in line to pick up a new Apple iphone. Unlike some of the others, I wasn’t in line to make a few bucks on eBay, but I had to have one of these phones and after all the hype – couldn’t stand to go through the weekend without the newest phenomonen from Apple.

All AT&T stores closed at 4.30 today, reopening at six to begin sales of the new iphone. At lunch, there were four people in line at the North Eastman Road store in Kingsport and by 6, there were about 15 people standing outside. Here’s a side note for AT&T – you guys blew it today on customer service! Your people were nice, but considering the sweltering 90 degree heat and the fact you had people lined up at your door to buy the most expensive phone on the block – you could have at least let us wait inside and offered cold water to your new customers. Things like this go a long way for customer loyalty.

Nevertheless, when I arrived, my friend Jeff Rainey was in line. He was number 14. I arrived a few minutes before six and Erica Yoong from the Times-News was on the scene taking photos of the small crowd outside. The guys that were first in line (from lunch) kept talking about how they were headed home to put the device on eBay and I didn’t have the heart to tell them about my fascination with owning the new phone.

I waited for about 40 minutes before getting into the store and once inside someone just asked me…”what size?” In a moment, there was a little box coming up from the back storeroom and the 8gb iphone box was neatly packed in the snazzy Apple box that resembles the iPod packaging. Their AT&T rep scoured over my drivers license, set up an activation code, tried to sell me accessories and extra text messaging services and in a few moments, my credit swiped was swiped again for $650 tax and all.

It didn’t take long before I had opened the box and pulled out the thinline iphone and was comparing it to my old beatup Treo. It was certainly sleek, but I couldn’t get it turned on until I got home and connected the USB connector to my computer, updated to the latest version of Itunes (which has to be used to activate the phone) and filled out the activation screens online. One additional point, noone in the store explained their was a one-time activation fee for new AT&T customers (add another $35.00 – total $690.00). Once the screens were finished – let down – I had to wait 24 hours for the activation to complete…tick, tock. I can’t stand it. Even the phones other software was unaccessible while I waited for an email to notify me of the activation.

So…I wait…the screen looks cool.

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