The iPhone Line-Waiting Survival Guide

Launch Line

If you’re among the thousands of iPhone fans who will be standing in line on June 29 to get their hands on Apple’s long-awaited mobile phone, read this iPhone Line-Waiting Survival Guide for 10 must-know tips on staying safe, comfortable and entertained while you wait:

1. Arrive as early as possible.

Lots of people plan to camp out in front of Apple and AT&T stores. Arriving the night before may or may not be necessary, depending on the location of the store and the quantity of iPhones available.

Stores in New York and Los Angeles, for example, will be much more busy than those in smaller cities, but they’ll likely carry more phones.

If you want to guarantee yourself an iPhone on Friday, pass by the store Thursday night and look for campers. If you don’t see much buzz, come back in the morning and decide whether to stay.

How long are you willing to wait in line for an iPhone? Greg, the first iPhone line waiter, began the first iPhone launch line over four days before the iPhone’s arrival.

2. Have group members arrive together.

If you plan to wait in line with friends or family for the iPhone, agree to meet up with your group at a specific time.

Don’t count on holding spots in line for people, because a) that would be unfair and could get you on the bad sides of other line waiters, and b) AT&T security might prohibit that.

3. Stock up on food and water.

Consider the amount of time you intend to wait in line and take adequate food and drinks inside a bag or cooler.

If you live in a hot area like I do, plenty of bottles of water are essential.

In some areas, street vendors may set themselves up next to iPhone launch lines to sell food, but don’t count on them unless you’re sure they will be there.

4. Plan for the weather.

Consider the temperature and dress accordingly. Check the weather for rain. If you’re expecting a down-pour and you’re still committed enough to go stand outside in line, take a poncho to stay at least semi-dry.

If there’s a high chance of rain in your area, find out if there’s an Apple or AT&T store that’s inside of a mall and go there.

5. Take a blanket or chair.

Depending on how many hours you plan to be in line, consider taking a beach chair, blanket or pillow for comfort.

6. Take things to entertain yourself.

Some stuff you may want to take with you:

  • MP3 player
  • Books
  • Magazines
  • A board game
  • Handheld game consoles

Let me know what to add to this list.

7. Be considerate of other line-waiters.

With so much hype riding on the iPhone, line waiters will be eager to get inside the doors to get theirs — especially after hours (or days) of waiting.

Don’t let your excitement override your common sense and consideration of other people. If you can, verbally agree on your positions in line with those around you — better, write it on your hands. Be patient and you’ll (most likely) get your iPhone.

8. Make pee buddies.

When you gotta go, you gotta go. Agree to save someone’s spot in line while they take care of business, if they’ll do the same for you.

Anyone know whether stores will set up portable toilets near the lines? Or would that be asking too much?

9. Have an idea what you’re buying beforehand.

Though you might want to try an iPhone before you commit to buying it, knowing generally what you’re looking for will speed up the process and make the line faster for everyone.

Do you want a 4 GB iPhone or an 8 GB one? What rate plan might you sign up for? Will you add additional SMS text messaging to your plan?

10. No time to wait in line? Hire a placeholder.

People on craigslist are offering to hold your spot in line for you while you get out of work or school, or if you just don’t feel like waiting.

But do you really want to spend $200+ on top of $599/$699 for the iPhone plus the $36 initial activation fee?

Got any other iPhone launch line survival tips? Let me know.

If you found this iPhone Line-Waiting Survival Guide helpful, pass it on to your friends and fellow iPhone fans.

5 thoughts on “The iPhone Line-Waiting Survival Guide”

  1. Check it…

    this is my 1st time camping for an item and I have a question. Im getting 2 phones, 1 for me and one for my brother. We live in different houses and we have seperate accounts. I have a team of friends that will take time shifts for the next two days. Example Guy 1 & 2 take the morning shift, then Guy 3 & 4 will take the night shift. There will only be a total of 2 iphones purchased and not 4. Is this allowed? its not like we are cutting, there is always 2 people covering and only 2 phones will be bought.


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