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June 29, 2007

First in line on iDay

Posted by Tricia Duryee at 10:16 AM

Jack Valko is claiming to be the first in line at the AT&T store in Seattle's Pacific Place to buy an iPhone at 6 p.m.

He's taking the day off from WhitePages.com, where he's the director of IT, for the first chance at getting the highly anticipated cellphone.

Writing a steady stream of posts on his blog, he's keeping everyone updated on a need-to-know basis. What I can't tell from the blog is what time he arrived at Pacific Place.

A quick call around confirms that just about every store in Seattle has a line of some sort. At Pacific Place, the store confirmed about 20 or 30 people were in line there. The AT&T store in Bellevue Square had only four people, so that would be a better choice over the Apple Bellevue Square location, which had more than 50 people. The Apple store in University Village also had a line -- no word on how many people.

I liked Valko's description on his blog of the temporary AT&T workers who have been hired to help with the rush:

The ATT temps are showing up, mostly young men in their late teens and early 20s. The kid hipsters, clubbers, 16-in. woofers in the Celica owners. They are walking in several hours early to work today and getting a good long look at this line full of squishy thirty-something geeks. Most of us can quote every line from every star wars movie ever made. Some of us have dice with more than 6 sides.

Needless to say we're catching some strange looks of exasperation and shaking heads.

But look at it from their perspective. Their whole lives they have been peddling crap, misdesigned products on underpowered networks. Long ago their industry abandoned the cell phone killer app (making calls) and supplemented it with fluffy rap ringtones and glowing antenna to continue to appeal to a customer base that was becoming more dissatisfied with the core product every day.

And now there is a well designed, expertly marketed, easy to use new product that they can sell in their stores that is generating at ton of interest. Talk about a game changer -- these kids will never be the same.

He also has a good picture of the line.

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Tricia Duryee
Tricia Duryee
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