5 things I learned while waiting all night for the iPhone 4S

By Jenny Fukumoto

About a month ago, the home button on my iPhone 3G died. Then the technology gods answered my prayers with the unveiling of the new iPhone 4S.

So, I did what any other sane person would do in my situation—I decided to be one of the first people to get the new device by waiting all night (and through the rain) camped outside of the Apple Store.

While I was No. 10 in line at Chicago’s Michigan Avenue Apple outlet, unfortunately, I was also one of the least prepared.

Here are five things you need to know if you’re going to pull an all-nighter in line:

1. Prepare for the elements.

Bring a foldable chair. And snacks. And headphones. If it’s going to be below 55 degrees, layer up. And when you think you’ve got enough layers on, add three more.

2. Make friends in line.

It’ll make the night go by faster and bathroom breaks easier to take (if you’re one to go alone).

3. Don’t expect to get in any good naps.

Unless you bring an inflatable mattress, pillow and blankets, you’re just not going to be able to get any restful sleep.

4. Prepare for camera crews and lookie-loos.

I was expecting the passers-by taking pictures of “the line” with their phones. I did not expect some of them to take a picture of me 12 inches from my face. Nor did I expect a reporter to stick her microphone all up in my grill come 4:30 in the morning.

If you want your 15-seconds-of-fame on the local TV news station, I suggest having a few responses in mind so that when you’re being interviewed after a sleepless night, formulating answers isn’t as painful.

5. Overestimate how exhausted you’ll be the next day.

I didn’t take the day off from work because I had too much to do in the office, and I thought I’d have enough adrenaline to stay focused throughout the day.

I was wrong.

Siri, help!

After getting no sleep, talking to five reporters and wondering if I had pneumonia, I needed two things: a shower in my own apartment and sweatpants. Make that three—a Red Bull.

Was getting the phone worth waiting in line?

Not really, since the demand wasn’t as great for 4S model and I could have just as easily gotten the same phone had I simple joined the line at 6 a.m after a restful night in my own bed.

But the experience was worth it. I’d never done anything remotely close to it before, and I won’t be doing it again, but the crazy stories easily warranted the once-in-a-lifetime experience.

And may I never f%*king do it again.


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