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If you absolutely need an iPhone 3G today, put on your sturdiest standing shoes, go to SoHo or MePa or Midtown, and bring something to read. Something long. Maybe the new translation of War and Peace. Today's iPhone lines are swollen with Apple fans who have jobs and so couldn't go yesterday, which means 2-3 hour waits everywhere and not enough phones to go around (especially if you're looking for a 16 gig phone in black.) And don't even think about trying to game the system by visiting an out-of-the-way Apple store in Jersey or an AT&T store here—the Manhattan Apple stores seem to be the only ones with anything left in stock.
Line length: 2 to 3 hours
Availability: The genius sounded personally offended when we asked if there was any danger of running out. "We're fine," she said frostily.
Line length: 2.5 hours
Availability: They have plenty of stock.
Line length: 2 to 3 hours
Availability: Lots of stock; a new shipment arrived at 7 AM. (When we called at 2:30 this morning, by the way, the genius told us they were out of stock and yet the line was still 2 or 3 hours long.)
Apple Garden State Plaza (NJ)
Line length: 1.5 hours
"Are you going to run out?"
"I don't know." (stifling laughter)
"Are you out of 16G black?"
"No." (stifling laughter)
"Am I the 10th person in a row who's asked that?"
"You're about the 50th person in a row."
Apple Short Hills (NJ)
Line length: The genius wasn't sure. They had to turn people away an hour and fifteen minutes after closing time last night; this morning they opened an hour early.
Availability: Out of the 16G black, but everything else is in stock.
Apple Menlo Park (NJ)
Line length: "It's long. I don't even know." They're still dealing with people from last night: "I don't know, they probably slept in the parking lot."
Availability: The16G black is gone, and within three hours everything else should be gone too.
AT&T Greenwich Village
Line length: 30 people
Availability: "I can tell you that if you're looking for a 16G in black, don't even bother because that was the first one to sell out." They have about five white 16Gs left, and maybe 20 black 8Gs.
AT&T West Village (15th Street and 6th Ave)
Line length: It's sort of like Waiting for Godot here: There's a line, but there are no phones. The phones are sold out. Nobody knows if more will come. Yet still they wait.
Availability: Phones? All gone. Deranged hope that more will appear? Still fully in stock.
AT&T Brooklyn Heights
Line length: "We have about 70 people, but it might not be worth coming because right now we have less iPhones than people in line."
Availability: Sold out of all 16Gs, and the 8Gs are going fast.
AT&T Fulton Street
Line length: About fifty people, "but if you come down you won't be able to get one because we're about to run out." (A common theme today: Exasperated, world-weary iPhone salespeople.)
Availability: Not for long.
AT&T Kings Plaza (Marine Park)
"Hi, are you selling the iPhone?"
"SOLD OUT." [Click.]