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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    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Maybe you should read into it a bit more

      I thought it was an interesting observation of the effects of the Apple hype machine, effects on both providers and consumers and ultimately the falseness of it all, all from the eyes of a (wo?)man on the ground.

      Great article.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I'll second you there...

        Apple should have anticipated this... but no.

        Now we sit there with our thumbs up our arses, waiting... and waiting... and waiting. Or... buying a different phone instead and telling Apple exactly where to shove their game-changing phone.

        1. ThomH

          Could be their obsessive secrecy?

          Would Apple, even after the Gizmodo reveal, refuse to allow an extended pre-announcement production period out of a paranoid desire for privacy? I'm not willing to rule it out.

    2. Gulfie

      Point taken but...

      The headline would have been better as "Staff bullied by employer and general public at phone non-launch".

      Those staff unlucky enough to be in pretty much any Apple reseller are between a rock and a hard place. I think this article describes their situation perfectly whilst demonstrating very clearly that the general public, you and I, are being played by the marketing drones.

      If the various shops put a big sign in the window a day or two back "We have n iPhone 4's to sell on Thursday" then there would be far less stress on employees and customers. The resellers will have know for days what the situation was going to be yet still made their stores open early even with nothing to sel...

  2. Chris Pearson

    600,000 preorders remember?

    I'm not surprised. I suspect Apple looked after their own first and allocated most stock to those massive pre orders from the Apple store then sent the rest to bricks and mortar apple stores.

  3. Dan Wilkinson
    Thumb Up

    O2 Stock

    32 16Gb ones, and 19 32Gb ones at my local. They went up the queue and took names until they were all "allocated", and told everyone else to go away. I was 35 in line and it took an hour of queueing to walk out with one in my hand. Simple.

    1. PsychicMonkey
      Jobs Horns

      and because it was in your hand

      you couldn't make a call....

    2. nick 83

      You are all missing the point...

      If Mr.Wilkinson had been another 10 minuets later in arriving at his queue, he may have been number 53 in line. Putting him with the majority of people who queued up and then did not receive a phone, thus wasting their time more then otherwise. He got lucky, and luck is not so simple.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sounds to me like

    he/she/them work for nophones4u or carphonewhorehouse, either way Apple have had the good sense to avoid selling good products in shoddy mobile phone shops...

    The apple store we went to this morning has loads of phones, the queue was massive but all got served. Shock Horror, apple look like they are in the business of making money from their own shops, where the service is great (and apple store people came out with drinks, sweets, and information about what was happening, even when vodaphones sim delivery was 20mins late. Guy next to us said he wants a mac now since the service is so damn good)

    Biggest thing (problem?) about today is M$ Steve Ballmers jealousy at the amount of love there is for the iPhone, does anyone think people will queue at 6am for the windoze7crapphone crapfest? no? didnt think so.

    1. Gaz Jay
      Thumb Down

      Revised post

      Your 2nd paragraph should be rewritten to accurately reflect the truth:

      The apple store we went to this morning has loads of crap, the queue was retarded and all got ripped off. Shock Horror, apple look like they are in the business of making people believe that their lives would be insignificant unless they bought the latest greatest piece of junk they create, where the service is average (and apple store drones came out with drinks, sweets, and propaganda about what was happening, even when vodaphones sim delivery was 20mins late. Numpty next to us said he wants a mac now since the "service is so damn good".

      Why wait in a shop, or queue/camp outside for a piece of technology that does pretty much the same thing (albeit with more restrictions and a higher price tag) than other devices on the Market?

      If I waited in a queue for an hour only to find out the shop did not have enough stock to meet demand, I'd simply realise I was being an idiot who needed to get a life rather than complain about the way I was being treated.

      1. LinkOfHyrule


        It's a cult. They way you describe the Apple store, yes its a cult!

  5. Yves Kurisaki


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

    I don't think that the person described in that blog is a rational one in any circumstance.. more like a yuppie wanker in every circumstance.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns



    1. Big-nosed Pengie
      Jobs Horns

      And completely

      incomprehensible to any rational human being.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    How dare you

    How dare you not have an iPhone4 in stock!

    How could you do this to me.

    If I don't get an iPhone4 right now, right this GodDamn minute everyone and I mean EVERYONE will know I'm a low life looser!

    and it will be all your FAULT!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up


      ...drove away in a Beamer too.

      Stereotyping? Nah. Experience and cynicism.

  8. nichomach
    Jobs Horns

    Apple are at least ensuring parity of treatment...

    ...between the East and West; anyone that they inveigle into either manufacturing, distributing or selling the damn thing gets treated like crap. Your correspondent has my sympathy.

    Do I NEED to provide a reason for Evil Stevil?

  9. Dazed and Confused

    Patent that

    I wonder whether Apple have patented marketing dept. engineered product shortage launch strategies yet.

    What's that about prior art?

    Well what about it, doesn't normally stop them.

    1. Peter H. Coffin

      Re: Patent that

      I thought Sony had prior art on the technique....

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Best article ever

    What Apple do to people is evil.

    1. Aaron 10
      Jobs Halo


      What people do to themselves is evil. Apple didn't do this to them.

  11. GrumpyJoe

    Which is it then?

    Incompetence or malice - either option makes Apple look stupid.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fucking classic Apple hype

    "This "launch" is either clusterfuck of epic proportions or an equally epic marketing coup. I can't quite work out which"

  13. shade82000

    Why bother?

    The i4 will be un-cool hours later when more people get one, do they not understand this?

    Fashon accessories become unfashonable as soon as the public jumps on the bandwagon. This time it seems to have happened even before the launch, so that makes every i4 owner a twat.

    Isn't camping outside a shop overnight a waste of time? For a phone. After all, it is just a phone right?

    Suckers, every single one of them.

    1. Gaz Jay

      I agree

      If someone shows me his new iPhone4 over the next week or two I'm gonna have to restrain myself from laughing in his face.

      My bet is they already have the iPhone4 3.2GSi CSX 16v Turbo Injection or whatever lined up and are just waiting for the iPhone4 hype to die before releasing it as a new must have model.

    2. Giles Jones Gold badge

      Queue always happen for big product launches

      So people who queued for the XBox 360 or PS3 were stupid too? it's not a fashion accessory, it is a device that people want because it is a good improvement on what they have already.

      Look at the leap between the PS2 and the PS3, not saying the iPhone 3GS to 4 leap was that huge, but it's big enough for people to want to get hold of one as soon as possible.

  14. adrianww

    The more I read...

    ...about the iPhone 4 hypefest, the happier I am that I took the opportunity to use the pending iPhone 4 launch to get a cheap iPhone 3GS upgrade out of my current operator. Managed to get one for considerably less than I paid for a crappy Nokia 5800 thingy last year and without extending my contract by any more than a couple of weeks. Result!

    Oh but how I have regretted getting that 5800 rubbish over the course of the last 12 months. Come on Nokia - you used to make decent phones, but your latest efforts are damned awful! It's no wonder that people are frothing at the nethers over things like iPhones and Android.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Ninteodo Wii all over again.

    Consumers (particularly Apple and Nintendo ones) really are retarded...

    Even Paris can see through this hype-fueled scam.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Eh, Nintendo?

      I don't think you can compare Apple and Nintendo. Nintendo didn't expect their console to be that popular and didn't produce enough. (or was cheap). Apple knows their products blow, and try to make them seem better by shorting production. Partly to make it seem like that "everyone must have bought one already" and partly for the retards who "want something specifically because they can't have it".

  16. lucsan

    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?"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down


      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.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    On the positive side

    > Oh, and employees are banned from buying one on pain of dismissal

    Pity don't know what company this is as they'd have gone up in my estimation. Remember hearing from someone a couple of Christmases back when everyone was trying to get Wii's that he'd gone into a local Asda and asked a member of staff if they had any Wii's in stock ... person he spoke to turned out to be a manager who replied that they'd had a delivery that morning and was surprised that they weren't displayed as being in stock and he'd go and investigate ... he came back 5 mins later with one saying "yes, there's 20 that arrived this morning but they'd all been 'reserved' by staff - we're not going to have that going on here so here's yours and the rest are going on th eshelf now"

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: On the positive side

      So are employees who want a Wii/iPhone/whatever supposed to take their money to a competitor's store? Or are they graciously allowed to take (unpaid) a day off work and come in as a customer?

      You get the loyalty that you deserve. If you treat your employees like dirt then you can't really complain if they then treat the customers like an inconvenience.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    what is the need to get one that quickly

    I could understand it if they were of a limited production run, or discounted.

    Its also the latest iPhone, not the first iPhone.


    You already have an iPhone - so you're already 90% of the way to the alleged nirvana of the Mark 4 and so waiting a day at most will hardly dent your lifestyle.


    this is your first iPhone - so if you need it that much why didn't you buy one of the models that was already out there. Or you've got by so far - why rush?


    You're a susceptible personality with too much time and money on your hands.


  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Quite amusing

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

  20. Martin 47


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

    1. Anonymous Coward


      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. ;-)

  21. Mark 21

    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.

  22. Craig 12

    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...

    1. Ian K

      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.

      1. paulf

        @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!

      2. Anonymous Coward


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

    2. Flossie
      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.

  23. Matt 21

    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.

  24. Anonymous Coward

    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...

    1. danny_0x98

      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?

  25. Anonymous Coward
    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...

  26. Pavlov's obedient mutt


    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

  27. I Like Heckling Silver badge

    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.

  28. Stu Wilson
    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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?

      1. Anonymous Coward

        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?

        1. Anonymous Coward

          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.

  29. Adam H 1

    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.

  30. Gold Soundz

    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      @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.

    2. F'tangF'tang

      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 ...

  31. mrmark1977

    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      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.

      1. Stevie


        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.


      2. mrmark1977

        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.

  32. stu 4

    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.


  33. Anonymous John


    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?

  34. Anonymous Coward

    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...

  35. Charlie MItchell
    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!

    1. Chad H.


      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.

      1. Dan Wilkinson


        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.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This makes me glad...

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

    1. Chad H.


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

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        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.

        1. Chad H.


          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).

  37. Badwolf

    So whats new

    An ordinary day at Dixons?

  38. Eeep !

    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      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.

  39. passionate indifference

    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

  40. Trevor_Pott Gold badge


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

    1. Neill Mitchell


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

  41. bobbles31

    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.

  42. Tony Rogers
    Paris Hilton

    Fashionista Baby

    Along with UGG boots,designer handbags and gloss lipstick ;the apple phone is for those who wish for something in their life to be noticed.

    You would not buy one of these phones for cutting edge technology .so why then ?

    Narcissism ? Personal sense of worthlessness without one ?

    Maybe you just like shopping ?

    Put your name down for the MK 5 version while there is still time !


    Paris.....because she is the epitome of your life

  43. Anonymous Coward


    Who has less of a life.. the person who spends time queueing for a phone, or the person who spends time berating other people for queueing for a phone?

    Methinks maybe some people need to stop being so obsessed by other people's obsessions. There are better methods of inflating your sense of self-importance, surely.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      Who has less of a life? It is definitely the one who spends time queueing for a phone... No doubt about it.

      There, we're all good now. Right?

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Apologies for assuming you'd understand:

  44. MonkeyScrabble

    Is it just me

    Or is there something seriously wrong with people who queue outside a shop for hours to buy an overpriced piece of tat which doesn't actually work properly?

    The iPhone can't make calls if you hold it. I may be alone in thinking this but is this not slightly worrying to anyone considering making a purchase?

    There's a subtle hint to the iPHONE's intended function in it's name yet it spectacularly fails to deliver what I would say is a pretty basic and mandatory function in a telephone.

    This sits up there on the rather shoddy lack of testing which failed to spot the iPad's inability to stay connected to the internet. Or maybe the testing did catch it and Steve said put it out anyway, the faithful will still buy it.

    Please change the ad slogan to "iPad goes anywhere. Just make sure you copy everything you need onto it before leaving the house, because you ain't going to be able to download it once you get to where you're going." At least pretend you want to tell people some of the the truth about the shit you peddle.

    As an aside , I would like to take the time to point out to stevie boy that Tommy Cooper was magical (as in he did magic), the iPad is not magical, it is scientific.

    It crunches numbers and outputs the results of this crunching to a screen in a user friendly format. A large number of other companies have been doing things like this for 30 odd years with greater or lesser success. You are not the first and certainly won't be the last matey.

    But anyway back to the rant, 2 own goals in as many months there Mr. Jobs. It's a good thing the cult is alive and well because if you were trying to build it up on the back of this rubbish you'd be in trouble.

    I wonder when one of the mildly reatrded FanBoyz are finally going to wake up from the Steve infested dreamscape they now inhabit and spot that the Emperor's new clothes aren't clothes at all....

  45. John Stirling


    It is a phone.

    It is cool, and it's users are generally enormously happy, and can on occasion be slightly smug. They are expensive products, if I spend that much on something I will generally be happy with it, and will have programmed myself to believe it is excellent. Most people do this.

    Those of us who don't like the Apple business model can sometimes react negatively to our perception that Apple are smug, over bearing, and ethically questionable.

    Quite frankly those who are advocates of Apple products, or even evangelists may appear to those of us who are not as perhaps not entirely rational, and we may even react to what we perceive as being manipulative big corporate tactics, but actually they are just reaffirming their purchase decision, and by doing so reconfirming their positive reasons for making that decision.

    However I just wish WE COULD ALL just recognise that none of us, the 'lovers' the 'fanbois', the 'haterz', or the 'rationalists' are entirely rational in our views, we are all over reacting and falling into silly flame wars.

    Look at me, most rational post on here by far, and yet....

    ...was it rational for me to spend 30 minutes reading an article, and comments, and then another 10 writing a reply regarding a subject that I am at best vaguely equivocal about.

    mad, all of us

  46. Adam Williamson 1
    Thumb Down


    Nice title, Reg.

    So, the point of this story is...there isn't much iPhone stock around? Well, didn't everyone know that already? Pardon me if I don't feel too much sympathy for the author. He's got an indoor job with no heavy lifting, which any Pratchett fan knows is the important thing. His tragedy is...he doesn't have stock of a single product, so he can't make a few sales? Oooh, quick, someone resurrect William Shakespeare and tell him we have some serious material for him! Oh, no, wait there's another bit - he gets insulted by idiotic customers? Welcome to...every job which involves talking to a customer, ever, pal. It's hardly an unusual experience.

    As for the shortage being engineered for the marketing hype, this particular conspiracy theory pops up every time there's a shortage of *anything*, and I can never for the life of me figure out why anyone thinks it has legs. "Apple sells world record 15 squillion iPhones on launch weekend!" is just as good publicity as "Apple sells out of iPhones on launch weekend!", and has the distinct advantage that it makes Apple a lot more money. I just don't see the win in it for anyone. As to why it doesn't happen to any other manufacturer, well, there's a fairly simple explanation for that. Apple sells a fuck ton more iPhones than most manufacturers sell of most models. And it does happen to other manufacturers with really popular models; the Incredible and Evo both had shortages IIRC, so did the Palm Pre at first.

  47. J 3

    because of the revolutionary new features like a flash

    "because of the revolutionary new features like a flash"

    Ah, sarcasm. Always nice and appropriate.

  48. Rob Beard

    Lack of stock

    I feel sorry for this guy, you know maybe Apple should learn from this, they have lots of rabbid fanbois who are prepared to spend shed loads on a phone, the least they can do is make plenty of stock available.

    Maybe the next time they launch a phone and hype it up this much they should make sure they've manufactured a million or so of them, chances are they'd sell them within weeks, not only would it mean happy customers but also happy stores who have to turn away all these customers.

    Fail, on Apple's part for not meeting the obvious demand.


  49. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    Ideal free distribution FAIL

    <smug> I walked past >100 queuetards outside O2 twice on Thursday morning; once on my way to Carphone Warehouse, and the second time five minutes later with my iPhone 4. They didn't like that. </smug>

  50. Hous0430
    Jobs Horns

    Remember Beanie Babies?

    The stupid little plush things that plagued the consumer market 12 years ago. You know the ones that specifically low-balled retailers around Christmas time by only sending partial shipment, if any to said retailers to create hype (and thus launching a plague I go through every Christmas, trying to find the newest <shitty toy name here> for my little cousins)? Yeah, same concept, only for us big people, just waiting for the inevitable riots to happen.

    P.S. I'm running strong on a 15 year Apple boycott (not even an iPod, just on GP).

  51. Anonymous Coward

    I feel bad for you guys

    I'm not a fanboy, I'm getting to be middle-aged, and I will likely never own an iPhone 4 unless they can fix the antenna issue.

    But I still love the idea of being so excited about a product and wanting it so bad that I'm willing to queue for hours on launch day. Objectively it's silly and unnecessary, but who wouldn't want to feel like a small child on Christmas eve again?

    Seriously, haters, what's wrong with your lives that when you see other people being excited and having fun you have to put them down?

  52. pr83

    Deja Vu

    I believe your mystery correspondent works for the same national mobile phone retailer that I do - my Wednesday and Thursday were an almost carbon copy of theirs, right down to the 'helpful' communications from head office and failure of customers to understand the concept of first come first served. We also had no stock for launch and had to turn away a ridiculous amount of business as well as deal with people blaming us personally for not having any stock.

    Things were a little better today as a small amount of stock became available to order in from the warehouse and we managed to sell 2 before they sold out again. Oh, and our area manager granted us permission to purchase one without fear of receiving a p45 with our first bill.

    All in all, possibly the worst launch of all the iPhones so far, no mean feat considering what the previous three have been like.

    I still want one though

  53. liquidphantom
    Jobs Horns

    A perfect description....

    of why you shouldn't be a sales monkey. Possibly one of the worst jobs on the planet after door to door sales and cold calling, I'd rather shovel pig s**t for a job

  54. Anonymous Coward


    Apple screws over all retailers in order to funnel business towards their own stores. It's a practice that used to be illegal in the US, until a court ruling almost a decade ago that gutted the price fixing laws. Google's "Don't be Evil" motto could easily be "Don't be Apple."

  55. munkyboy

    a relevant comic

    simpatico penny arcade

  56. M Gale

    Warehouse space?

    There may be many reasons why Apple is short on stock. Deliberate or accidental, it's difficult to say for certain without being Steve Jobs. However, as far as "but these things require warehouse space to store"...

    ...Do you know how many iToys you could fit on one single pallet?

    Now multiply that by the 24-26 or so pallets you could fit on the back of a single 40-foot trailer, or one not-too-large warehouse shelf.

    And stop being silly. Warehouse space is not the issue, whatever the issue is.

    (and there's me thinking that lugging heavy shit around, getting hit by fork lifts, dodging low-flying pallets and getting covered in dust from 10pm-7am was something that would leave me with no useful knowledge)

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Screens and CPUs More Likely

      Most likely for a production shortfall is the availability of screens or CPUs, one of which is a very high end screen probably only available and capable of being produced by one or two manufacturers and the other is a custom apple CPU, shared with the iPad, the production runs of which are being shared between both products.

      I doubt very much that Apple aren't trying to produce/sell as many as they can right now.

      Apple is between a rock and a hard place. If they'd waited oh another month or two between the announcement of the phone and the to be able to easily meet demand, iPhone 3G/3GS sales would have tanked between the announcement and the release of the new phone and they would have been lambasted anyway, this time for the delay.

  57. Anonymous Coward


    the number of bitter and twisted individuals there are who are so quick to castigate people for queueing for a few hours to be sure of getting hold of something in huge demand and yet are prepared to waste several hours venting their spleens about it on the web.

    It's actually a very rational decision to buy an iPhone given the sheer number of applications being specially written for it. It's amazing how many large companies have produced useful applications for it and it alone(i.e. no Android/Windows versions). As a consequence it's a very useful bit of kit and as customers of the various multi-nationals producing iPhone applications, the whingers are actually subsidising the creation iPhone apps for the people they so despise;).

    For your information, haters, my new iPhone, for which I queued for a few hours obviating the need to wait in at home for a delivery, has much better reception than the previous 3GS and various regular phones I had before that. I now get a signal in the underground bogs in my local pub so I can bog surf, in my underground car park at home and numerous other locations where reception was a bit iffy. Add to that desirable quality, an amazing looking hi-res screen which makes it possible to read A4 text without zooming, a cracking camera with 720p video, a much faster CPU with more RAM for better performance and a much big battery meaning that it'll now last a day of heavy use and I'm a happy camper.

    Until, and unless, Google with Android or MS with Windows 7 get their acts together then the iPhone 4 is far and away the best choice for the average person. Enjoy whatever bland pieces of crap you're using - I'm really loving my very sexy iPhone 4.

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    I’m just disappointed that it’s the 1st July and there has still been no word on stock in the UK. Most retailers have no idea when they are expecting stock and websites are misleading, they are slow to update and phone lines to companies are engaged with customers trying to place orders. It’s sad that the launch date has been and gone and we still can’t buy one. The longer I wait the less I feel it’s worth the hassle.

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