It’s certainly no secret that I’m a fan of Apple products. The MacBook Pro sitting on my desk at home, the iPad Pro that I’m typing this on, the iPhone that’s always within an arm’s reach, and the Apple Watch strapped to my wrist paint a clear picture of how easily I’m sucked in to purchasing almost anything with that shiny fruit logo on it. Ever since the first iPhone was announced in 2007, eager customers have lined up in front of Apple storefronts hoping to snag the hot new item on the first day of its release. When it came to this year’s iPhone 7, I decided to do the same thing, having missed pre-orders the week prior. So what’s it like to be the first in line at the Apple Store for an iPhone?



The tools I use everyday to Get Things Done

Despite having a perfectly functioning iPhone 6s Plus at my disposal, I did what many millennial do and fell into the trap of consumerism, setting my heart on a matte black iPhone 7. With a Verizon upgrade awaiting me, battery packs ready to keep my phone going through the long night ahead, and a Spotify playlist full of guilty pleasures to keep me awake, I set out for Milwaukee at a ridiculous 1:30AM. Blessed by the lack of nighttime traffic, I pulled into Bayshore Town Center’s parking garage around 2:30AM, an odd hour to be at a shopping center. Let me just say that standing outside on a cool, breezy night might be nice… for about half an hour, when the thought of my bed started to feel irresistible. But I was number 1 in line, and I wasn’t going to let being tired stand in the way between me and capitalism! With Apple Stores opening two hours early at 8AM to accommodate the deluge of traffic they would see September 16th, how long could five and a half hours waiting really be?

Around 3:30AM (at which point I was no longer the only one in line), a manager stepped outside to confirm that they indeed had the phone that I was sacrificing sleep for. Two and a half hours from now, Apple Store employees would be filing out the giant glass doors, checking customers in for their iPhone 7. Finally at 8AM Apple was open for business, employees cheering to celebrate the product release, and those who had the foresight to order ahead of time were allowed in first to pick up their phones. My turn came at 8:35AM, credit card in hand and Verizon account ready to go. An employee brought out my phone, swiped my Visa, and started to activate my phone. Super simple and quick, right? Wrong. Dozens of people filed in and out, their upgrades all going smoothly, while I waited for the Cellular Deities That Be to bestow my phone with sweet, sweet, LTE. Despite being one of the first in the store, I didn’t departed until shortly after 11AM, nearly 10 hours after I left Whitewater and making for a total of eight and a half hours at Apple.



My matte black iPhone 7, in a black Apple Smart Battery Case

Don’t get me wrong, I love my iPhone 7 (it’s water and dust resistant!), even without a headphone jack (Bluetooth earbuds, people!), but I think next year I’m better off pre-ordering, sleeping in, and leaving it to a brown-shorts-wearing UPS person to handle the delivery. At least it doesn’t explode like a certain other “7” phone.