The iPhone 4, the fourth-generation of Apple's iconic smartphone, officially became available to consumers on Thursday. CNET has been checking out Apple stores and other venues to see how long the lines are, whether there are any issues with activation of the iPhone, and whatever else might pop up.
First up, we take you to Apple's downtown San Francisco store early Thursday morning, where the line stretched for blocks.
Editors' note: This slideshow was updated at 11:40 a.m. PDT with photos from Palo Alto, Calif., Manhattan, and Brooklyn.
Gonna be a long wait for these men at the end of the line. In the course of things Thursday morning, CNET's Erica Ogg heard that the word in the San Francisco store was that the wait for customers without a reservation could be on the order of 4 hours.
These two gents at the Fifth Avenue store were eager to show off the new FaceTime video chat application. Once they figured out that they initiated the video call by clicking on the FaceTime button in their contacts, the application didn't work for one of them. Even though FaceTime video calls are made only over a Wi-Fi connection, users still need to have a 3G connection to initiate the call. And unfortunately for these friends, one of their phones wasn't getting a 3G cellular signal from AT&T in the Apple store.
After iPhone buyers get their phones, an Apple sales rep activates the device. The activation process seemed to go smoothly by and large, and iPhone 4 users typically have been up and running within 20 to 25 minutes.
If you were in Brooklyn, N.Y., this morning and in the mood to buy an iPhone, you had to go to RadioShack. There are no Apple Stores in Brooklyn.
The 15th person in line just ahead of the store's 9 a.m. opening time was a girl who said her boyfriend was in line at the Apple Store on 14th Street in Manhattan. He preordered a phone there and said Thursday morning that even the preorder line was moving at a snail's pace; she, meanwhile, preordered at the Montague Street RadioShack: "I'll probably be back in bed before he even gets to the front of the line."
Back to the West Coast now, where we see the doors being flung open to the Apple Store in Palo Alto, Calif. CNET's Josh Lowensohn noted that the line here early on seemed considerably longer than the one for the iPad earlier this year.
CNET ran into brothers Christopher and James Nicholson, who camped out overnight at the Palo Alto store. Christopher said he'd done the same when the Palo Alto store first opened, but that it was his brother's first time doing so. Another first for James was the latest iPhone--he had not owned any of the previous iterations.