Saturday, June 30, 2007

iPhone Launch: La Cantera, San Antonio

Pablo's Point sent intrepid reporter Pablonius Monk to cover the big iPhone launch in the lovely Shops at La Cantera, San Antonio. Here's his coverage:

This was a big day for Steve Jobs, Apple, and technophiles everywhere. Equate this with standing in line for U2 tickets, Star Wars or Harry Potter midnight sales. Because there is a similar carnival-like atmosphere here. Yellow-shirted security guards roll around on their Segways. Apple Store employees roll iGloo ice chests around to pass out SmartWater to overheated fans to prevent sunstroke. (It's hot and humid in San Antonio after copious rainfall the past few days). The folks in line are having a blast regardless. The Godiva store down the way is sending store clerks with trays of cool white chocolate raspberry cream samples to offer the customers in line. The Apple team has worked hard to curry this kind of loyalty. And it has paid off today.

I spoke with the folks at the head of the line. They had arrived at the store the night before at 11:30pm. "Mall security wouldn't let us camp out inside the mall area. So we slept in the parking lot." The folks in line behind them had been there since 6:30AM Friday morning. Dave from San Antonio even made himself an iPhone costume to wear for the occasion (a big carboard box with a slot for breathing). There's a bearded guy underneath a tree playing Henry Mancini's The Pink Panther theme on his trumpet.

I took a few photos of the scene on my LG camera phone. I had to delete some old photos to make room for the new iPhone-fest shots. The LG allows me to send these digital files to another phone number or to an e-mail address. I type in my e-mail address to send the photos to myself. I have to type in the e-mail address with the clunky numeric pad each time I send a photo. There's no way to save the e-mail address. And I have to send each photo one-by-one. You can't send them as a group file. I couldn't help thinking how much easier it would be to blog all of this from an iPhone.

The reviews are in from the major papers. The consensus is very positive. Walt Mossberg & David Pogue both love this iPhone. There are a few caveats coming from all circles. Charlie Rose had a guest panel on the show last night to discuss Steve Jobs and the prospects for iPhone success.