Sunday, September 27, 2015

Apple iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus Launch Day

On Friday, Apple release the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus to the legions of Apple fans around the world.  Here is an account of my experience.

Pre-Ordering my iPhone 6s Plus

The story starts a little over a week ago with a pre-dawn 3:00am scramble to place my pre-order for the iPhone 6s Plus.  Just like last year's iPhone 6 order and this past April's Apple Watch pre-order, I chose to use the iOS Apple Store app.  It's the best way to jump in and get your new hardware ordered on pre-order and launch day.




As you can see, it was a few minutes after 3:00am before the Apple CDNs updated and the Apple Store app started serving pages.


At 3:07am, I was able to begin the pre-order process.  Notice the lack of a link for in-store pre-order reservations.  We'll get to that in a minute. At 3:08am, I was done.  Not too bad.  What I ended up doing was placing an order for delivery directly to my home.  What I wanted to be a part of the in store launch day hoopla that we've come to expect from launch day.  Then tweets started trickling in that other people where able to select a local store for pick up.  At 4:00am, things looked a little different.


Now, the "Check reservation availability" link was showing up.  I wan't able to change my order to a reservation, so after a nice chat with Apple customer support, they helped me fine an Apple Store in Connecticut that still had the iPhone 6s Plus that I was looking for and then, once my reservation was confirmed, they cancelled my order.

iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus Launch Day

This year, reservations worked a little different than last year for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus launch.  Pre-order reservations were doled out with reservation times.  Since I had the fumble with the order vs reservation situation, my reservation was for 8:30am and not 8:00am.  Still not bad.  It didn't really matter because I took the day off.  There was virtually no chance that work would get done with a new phone to play with.  (Ironically, I did end up getting called to handle an emergency, and why this post is going up on Sunday evening and on Friday afternoon.)


I arrived at the Stamford Apple Store at about 6:30am.  I was a little surprised by the fact that I was the first reservation customer to show up.  There were already about 40 - 50 people standing in the stand-by line.  The lines were broken up into three groups: 8:00am reservations, 8:30am reservations, and stand-by.  Also new this year, the reservation customers would be taken into the store first and then the stand by customers.  I was talking with the store employees and they told me that since I was there so early, they would let me in with the 8:00am group.

First in the pre-order reservations line
As with previous Apple product launches, the Apple Store team reviewed how the morning would go, had a quick team meeting and even got in a few team building activities.

Getting everything just right
Reviewing how the morning will go
An impromptu iPhone 6s demo session
Group photos
and my obligatory selfie with Apple Store employees
Apple Store team meeting
Team building activities
At 7:57am, the team lines up and gets ready to open the store at 8:00am.  From down the hall you can hear clapping and cheering as Apple Store employees get the stand by crowd all worked up and head into the store.



I was hoping for a 10...9...8... style count down, but why should the customers be the only ones having all the fun.

At 8:01am, I was taking inside the store to purchase my new iPhone 6s Plus.

Taking my seat inside the Apple Store Stamford
Unfortunately, it was not by an iPhone get a new MacBook Pro day
Checking out


All told, I was in the store for about 10 minutes.  Since I was buying my new iPhone outright, there were no contracts to sign, purchase plans to pick out or having to wait for phone activations.  Before leaving, I took a minute to thank everyone who helped me for coming in early just so I could buy a new phone on launch day.

Now it was time to head home, take some unboxing photos and setup my new iPhone 6s Plus.

Thanks Apple!  I know I'm going to love my new iPhone 6s Plus!

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