While official numbers are yet to be released by Apple, according to analysts, the company may have sold nearly 1 million units this past weekend with quarterly sales expectations at 5.5MM. I was one of them and while the device was made available at Apple, AT&T, Verizon, Best Buy, Target and Wal-Mart stores, I chose the Apple store in Soho to try and get a little insight into the most loyal of Apple customers.
I waited nearly 4 hours before getting one. Surprisingly, the crowd was actually pretty orderly for stretching four city blocks! Fans were enthusiast sharing past experiences waiting in line for ipods, iphone, and original iPad.
Apple made it as pleasant experience taking into account the wait. The staff provided free SmartWater, nearby cafes provided coffee andat times folding chairs. I half expected the entire line to be composed of iPhone owners but there small pockets of Android owners were there too buying into the frenzy. I even overheard a few flattering conversations surrounding Android on the part of Apple loyalists but they believed the app market was a long way from getting their consideration.
Once inside, each ticket holder (maximum of two devices per person) was greeted by a personal sales person who quickly sold me the device, activated it and gave ne a few suggestions on apps to download. One in particular that would allow me to view flash videos. It was pretty interesting to see the level of confusion surrounding carrier choice which had to be made on the spot since the models are different. Most people bought Wi-Fi only devices myself included. I figure why not use my Sprint unlimited data plan to power the device but it made me think what a poor job AT&T and Verizon did demonstrating their value proposition considering.
In case you’re wondering, the first model to sell out at this location was the white, 16G Wi-Fi edition. I also heard that the Verizon black models were the only ones left at the 5th Avenue location that night.