Remember those long lines of customers queuing up at the Apple Store to get their new iPhones? Those days are gone. Yes, there will still be lines for new iPhones, including iPhone X, but you won’t find a Mincey in one of them.
I recall David Letterman saying something to the effect, “At the Apple Store, the people waiting in line for the iPhone 6 were trampled by the people waiting for the iPhone 7.” I understand the sentiment but the argument is wrong. iPhone 6 was followed by iPhone 6s, then iPhone 7. And nobody waiting in line got trampled. Historically, lines to get a new iPhone have been peaceful and notable only for their length.
Frankly, it’s been a few years since I stood in line at an Apple Store to get anything. Purchases are handled by roving associates with wireless credit card machines (I don’t recall seeing anyone buy anything at an Apple Store with cash, but Apple is an accommodating company, so maybe I’ll try that out next time).
Apple Store honcho Angela Ahrendts is all about the user experience and that applies as much to shopping as it does to using an iPhone, Mac, or iPad, so the purchase experience has gone through some changes, too.
Last year I ordered my new iPhone online and scheduled a date and time to pick it up at the nearest Apple Store. A month or so later, after Apple got supply more in line with demand, my wife walked into the Apple Store and 15 minutes later walked out with a new iPhone, all thanks to her enrollment in the iPhone Upgrade Program.
That’s what I’m using this year, too. Earlier this week I went online and got the basic iPhone Upgrade Program pre-approval taken care of. Apple says it’s still first-come, first-served, but they asked me which model and configuration I wanted to buy during the pre-approval process. You know; to help speed up the buying process online. I’m pre-approved and Apple already knows what I want to buy, so the purchase process should be just a few taps of the Apple Store app on my iPhone.
We’ll see. Murphy’s Law has yet to go out of existence.
Admittedly, there was a certain party atmosphere to standing in Apple Store lines in yesteryear. Often we would meet friends and make new friends. Apple provided cold water. Each year the process improved and the lines grew shorter. Yes, those were the days but I have no desire to go back.
No more iPhone line for me.