The new Apple iPhone
will officially be released in a few minutes [ed note: due to image glitch, post went up at 6:12 pm
], and the line in front of the Apple Store at Pioneer Place is at fever pitch, packed with open laptops and headphone-sporting mac geeks in "I Love Linux" t-shirts. Some people have been waiting all day to get their mitts on the shiny new gadgets; local software programmer Steven Frank has been here since the mall opening at 8 am.
Neven Mrgan, a software developer from Portland, who has been here since 9:15 am, says he's been keeping pretty busy networking with other Mac enthusiasts: "I've probably met more fellow Mac geeks and developers than anywhere else I've been. It's going by very quickly."
Nintendo gaming systems, laptops, iPods, and paperbacks have been keeping the crowd busy, while the Apple-provided coffee and refreshments stand has been serving as an ad-hoc social hub. Most of the crowd is busy ogling photos of the newly-released phones in different time zones. The mood is overwhelmingly convivial.
Neighboring mall shops have tried to take advantage of the sitting ducks; Paradise Bakery brought cookie samples, while the Sunglass Hut tried to hawk coupons to the entirely uninterested crowd. An older man passed by the sequestered crowd and observed the whole gang before quietly tut-tutting, "The world is doomed."
Update: The black paper blocking the Apple Store window has just been removed, to a cacophony of giddy Oohs and Aahs. A giant dummy iPhone in the window is keeping a countdown until the store re-opening. These guys really know how to keep up the hype!