Apple retail stores are typically crowded. On iPhone release day, however, they turn into absolute zoos, with stores packed to the brim and lines often extending out of the store.
Now that the iPhone is over six years old, the hysteria surrounding an iPhone launch has subsided a tad. Still, it's an event unto itself and Gizmodo recently ran a piece from an anonymous Apple retail store employee who describes in exquisite detail what it was like to be on the front lines in the days preceding and following the iPhone 5s and 5c launch.
The anonymous employee, who writes under the name J.K. Appleseed (perhaps Johnny Appleseed's long lost brother?), notes that his Apple retail store began receiving truckloads of iPhones about 12 hours before opening on launch day.
With 10 minutes to go until the doors open, it was time for a store pep talk:
We make a big blue huddle. Black curtains block the view into our glass wall. We can't see them, but they're all out there, waiting. The customers. The camera crews. The police.
Our store manager has really amazing hair. It doesn't move while he delivers an earnest, if predictable pep talk. How are we feeling, have fun, make each customer count, don't talk to the media, remember we catered lunch, this is what it's all about-and have fun.
Two minutes to go and the scene on the inside is seemingly as hectic as it is on the outside.
Party music blasts. Don't casinos flood gambling floors with oxygen? We should do that. Some employees dance. Most clap. I don't want to clap at first, but there are some very cute co-workers I haven't met before-I guess we must be on different work schedules-and they're clapping, so I find myself clapping when two managers suddenly sweep back the curtains and open the door.
3... 2... 1... ZERO!
We all clap and cheer the first customer through the doors. He looks young. He's stuffed his camping gear into a backpack, and he raises his fists to receive the ovation. We keep on clapping for the next 20 or 30 shoppers who file in, subtracting one clapper per customer. My hands start to sting. As the clapping finally fades, one customer comes in and does a little touchdown shimmy, which raises just enough temporary applause to be slightly awkward.
The entire piece is well worth a read as our anonymous Mr. Appleseed details some behind-the-scenes happenings that occur during launch day and also covers what it's like inside Apple retail in the days following a huge product launch. All in all, the article provides some cool insight into a world that we don't often hear about from the inside out.