According to people familiar with the impending iPhone launch, it looks like Apple has asked its retail store employees to take a nap overnight in each of its brick and mortar locations. In most average-sized stores, this means the store manager and one other lucky person will be the first to actually be able to fulfill the literal meaning of the old saying, "sleeping on the job."
Perhaps most interesting about this slumber party is the feedback future line gatherers are spewing about this obvious security measure. In a number of comments on blog posts and on various message boards, Apple fanboys from all over the place are saying that its just another reason why Apple is wonderful: it makes its employees brave a hard tile floor for a night with those people who are going through the same hardships: iPhone buyers. Of course, these people failed to point out the most obvious difference of the sleepover: you line people are on one side of that gate and the store manager and chosen assistant are on the other. And just in case you get too excited at 1AM and decide to break down the gate to hang out with your best new buddy on the other side, be prepared to get shipped to your new holding cell in a paddy wagon. Gee, thanks Apple.
And before I call it quits, take a second to consider what that scene will look like at the Apple store. A line will probably begin forming tomorrow night for first dibs on the new phone, and the line will be cluttered with guys making really bad Treo and Blackberry jokes. While they talk about the oh-so-disgusting Treo stylus, two people, yes two, will be charged with the task of protecting a store with thousands of dollars of merchandise from an ever-impatient mob of hundreds. I don't know about you, but if I was an Apple store manager, I'd be opening up a life insurance policy and finding myself a grave site so my family wouldn't have to worry about it. But alas, these people are not the Playstation 3 hoodlums of yesteryear, why no. The people who will be lining the hallways of major malls all over the country are surely more patient and calm than those folks who trampled innocent women and children for a bloody video game console, right? After all, it's only a phone!
Eh, I don't like those odds.