Fierce gets the iPhone - Page 2

3:29 PM -- AT&T store at New York Ave. and 14th St., NW Washington DC

The line appears to have doubled since we were last here nearly an hour ago--16 iPhone hopefuls now wait in line outside of the store. It is now raining lightly but the lucky Apple fans at this store are protected by the building's canopy.

3:33 PM -- Verizon Store at 15th and G St., NW Washington DC

We walk past a Verizon reseller on our way to the next AT&T store. There is a sign outside advertising Verizon's "Unlimited" data plan. There is no one waiting outside.

4:45 pm -- AT&T at 12th and F Street

It appears that the line has grown significantly since last we visited. 60 people are now waiting anxiously in hopes of attaining the much pined after piece of high tech plastic. The store is now closed to the public and three security gaurds are milling about the entrance.

4:57 pm -- L St. and Connecticut Ave.

Though there was no line the last time we were here, there are now 35 people waiting in line outside this store. FierceMarkets employee, Arsalan, is #33 in line. How many handsets does each AT&T location have? Will Arsalan be able to get one, so far back in line? We will be here on the scene as attempts to buy his phone. As we blogged this, the security gaurds have switched the lines to the other side of the building to prevent iPhone seekers from blocking traffic.

5:34 PM 14th and K St.

Brian and Mehan went back to this location--now with 26 people in line. People are real excited to get the phone in hand and seeing the orientantion flip as they move it around in their hands. Seems like these first movers are more interested in the flashy features than the slow edge network.

5:40 PM -- Pentagon City Mall

Deborah McAdams is on the scene, and what a scene it is. Over 200 people have lined up around the second floor courtyard with 10 security gaurds keeping close watch. People are essentially camped out with lawn chairs towels and kids in tow. Press seems to be an unwanted element here as the security has forbiden us from interviewing any of the customers in the mall. Taking pictures is also not allowed as the security has forced us to delete the pics we did get a chance to snap.

5:50 PM -- Pentagon City Mall

Apple sent out cheerleaders to whip the crowd up into a frenzy before opening. Unfortunately, while speaking with another person watching the scene, Deborah was asked to leave the mall.

5:55 PM -- Back at L St. and Connecticut Ave.

They are letting 16 people in at a time.

6:21 PM -- L St. and Connecticut Ave.

After 21 people went in, one of the AT&T employees came out and addressed the crowd saying: "Listen up everyone, we may not have enough iPhones for everyone today. So don't panic because if you dont get one tonight, we will order one for you." Also worth noting, the people getting phones are being asked to leave through the back door. We wonder if this might mean they are already out of phones, and AT&T just wants to keep people in line to sign contracts and place orders for phones. Only a few more ahead of Arsalan. We will see if he gets a phone tonight!

6:28 PM -- Same Location

Someone on the inside reported that a customer failed their credit check, and AT&T wanted $1,000 deposit to get a contract. The customer happily paid it.

6:29 PM -- Same Location APPLE'S SYSTEM CRASHES

At 6:29 Apple's point of sale system has crashed, only six people have successfully walked out of the store with iPhones. The manager came out and said "The Apple system has crashed, it should be back online in 20 minutes." At this point no more iPhones can be sold. We will have to wait for the system goes back online. How could they not have prepared for this?

6:36 PM -- System back online.

Apple systems are back online. An AT&T store representative explained that Apple Corporate asked all stores to reset their computers because the systems could not handle the load. Once they did this, the system came back online. During the interval while the system was down, existing AT&T subscribers were able to buy an iPhone because they did not need to have their credit checked--according to one AT&T subscriber who walked out with a phone.

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