Finding an Illusive iPhone

I thought it would be interesting to document my experience in trying to find an iPhone4, given that everywhere is sold out, coast-to-coast.

Three weeks ago, my wife decided that, yes, she would like one. And after some playing with one in Future Shop, I joined her in that decision. Now, we arent die-hard Apple fanatics, who must have this device. In fact, I have been watching the who antenna fiasco with interest to see how it would play out and thought 'well, maybe in a few months I'll get one'.

I started, by visiting a couple of Rogers outlets and kiosks, only to be told by a weary looking sales rep that they didnt have any. They didnt know when they would be getting any, and no, i couldnt leave my name. Well, I could... but the list was already 80+ names long and they only get one in with every shipment.

Over the course of the next two weeks, I visited different stores, at different times of the day, but I got the same answer, and same weary look. It should be noted, that I did get a couple of lengthy conversations with two reps about the supply chain and the like.
One guy even told me that they are getting over 700 calls per day, asking if the iPhone is in stock!

In all occasions, I maintained a light and cheerful attitude. with 700 calls a day, I can only imagine how annoyed these guys are getting about telling people they dont have any. It is also pretty interesting that they dont know when they are going to get them! I was told by one (pretty cheerful guy) that they have had three deliveries simply not show up. Other times they are getting them in, in ones or twos.

Wow.

One of the guys at a mall kiosk was a little grumpy when I approached him. (Understandably I thought, but, ya know, Im a customer with money and a mission.). Our conversation went like this;

Me - "Hi, so just wondering about these iPhones you dont have in stock"
Rep - "<sigh> yeah. no we dont have any."</sigh>
Me - "Ok. no problem. Any idea on when you may be getting some stock in?"
Rep - "<pfft> No. No idea. Whenever they come in."</pfft>
Me - "OK. well thanks anyway."
Rep - "So Why'd you want one?"
I was a little taken back by this question so I replied like a true clue-less customer
 Me - "Huh?"
Rep - "Why'd you want one? I mean, Apple are loosing their place in the cell market. They are like, number 4 now and falling all the time. what about one of these Android phones... they the new thing. The new Samsung Galaxy is awesome" and he gestured to a device.
Me - "Er... well.. its for my wife really... I'll tell her."
Rep - "Ok"

Now, not that I am against other brands, I have just developed a sense of what I like over the years. For a long time, I wouldnt use anything other than Nokia. Oh, I tried Motorola, but they never seemed to stack up to the same level. Then I switched to HTC briefly before joining the Blackberry clan. My personal opinion of the Androids, is that they are a little 'rough' around the edges. Sure they have iPhone appearances and apps and the like, but they dont seem as polished as the iOS. Maybe i just havent spent enough time with them.

The thing is, the more I looked, the more I spoke to these guys on the front lines of the iPhone Defense, the more I wanted one. By the end of week three... I JUST WANTED ONE. I didnt care. I WANT ONE. Im not totally sure why I want one now... I just do.

So this morning, I thought, 'Monday - there must be some shipments out there' and I even started salivating at the mouth a little.
I called five stores. Same answer. Well... same kind of answer. The best one was from FutureShop in Abbotsford.

"Hello, thanks for calling Futureshop. We dont have any iPhone4's in stock. Is there anything else I can help with?"

Its like they can read my mind or something.

My search continues....