clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Surprisingly Long but Subdued Lines at the UWS Apple

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

This morning at 7am, Apple unleashed its newest phone, the iPhone 4, upon the city and the world. We checked out the scene in the Meatpacking District, now we're on-site on the Upper West Side.

After experiencing the toddler size line at the iPad launch, we thought that the UWS Apple might be the best kept secret for getting to the iPhone 4 the fastest. Turns out at least a couple hundred other people had the same idea. The line looked manageable at first until people realized that it wrapped around across 67th, up Amsterdam, across 68th onto Broadway, then back around onto Amsterdam. At present, there is only one line and up toward the front, staffers will separate reserved from the unreserved. They are letting in 20 people at a time (10 reserved, 10 non-reserved), so it's going to be a long, hot, hopefully not too rainy day, folks.

The first in line arrived around noon yesterday and according to staffers, the majority of people claimed their spots before 5am this morning. Over-nighters braved a bit of rain last night, but it looked like most were prepared, bringing folding portable beach chairs with attached umbrellas. Staffers were serving Starbucks iced coffee and pastries and line-goers entertained themselves by playing on their soon to be outdated iPhones and iPads (we did spot a couple people brazenly reading their Kindles). There wasn't much craziness going on, although, we did happen upon an enterprising trio of a two tight t-shirt girls and guy wearing a home-made cardboard iPhone offering to buy your old one (we'll pass). When the doors opened, there was probably more cheering from the staffers than the customers, but the lucky ones who walked out with their brand new iPhone 4s looked either very smug or just shell-shocked.

So here's the lowdown: Good news for line goers, if you have a reservation, you will get a phone today. Bad news, if you don't have a reservation, the 32 gigs are gone-zo already, but you may have a chance at the 16 gig. Also, there are only black iPhones in stock, no word on when the white will be available. There is a 2-phone purchase max per day. For those who pre-ordered, you must pick up your phone at some point today, otherwise your precious pre-ordered phone will be released back into the general stock. A staffer predicted less craziness around 7pm and they will most likely receive a new shipment for tomorrow. We'll be checking in on the line sitch later on in the day, so stay tuned.
· The Line for iPhones in MePa Stretches Almost to the River [Racked]
· The iPhone Wait Has Begun on the Upper West Side [Racked]
· Short Lines, Plenty of iPads at the UWS Apple [Racked]

Apple Store UWS

1981 Broadway, New York, NY