"What if it sucks?" I asked Tim Noguera, 26, of San Francisco.
Tim and his friend, Nicholas Bertelsen of Denmark, happily sat behind a rope outside Apple's flagship store in San Francisco on Thursday night, and would happily wait until 8 a.m. Friday morning. That's when the recently unveiled bigger and apparently better iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus became available to the public. The people who wait overnight will get the iPhone 6 days, maybe even weeks, before all the normal people get the exact same thing.
"If I were waiting for a Galaxy," Tim smiled. "I would kill myself."
At 7 p.m. on Thursday, the iPhone 6 line was about 60 people deep. Most sat on folding chairs or cardboard. A handful of shoppers got in line on Wednesday evening, including Mr. Viet of the Tenderloin. He and his wife planned to max out and get two iPhone 6s each. Mr. Viet was thrilled with the free bottled water he was given by Apple staffers, who by all accounts have gone above and beyond the call in taking care of their overnight shoppers.
Marco and Raj, among the first in line, noted that Apple gladly let folks use their bathroom and charge their phones. "They come out every 30-40 minutes to check on us, see if we need anything. It was raining this morning, and they brought us umbrellas."
When asked to go on the record, however, Apple staff (or team members, or Appletinis, or whatever they call themselves) directed me towards their official communications department. Apple stays on brand, you guys.
Nicholas of Denmark confessed that he had little hope of actually sleeping through the night. "It's kind of like being on an airplane." Yeah, an airplane with pee on the ground and next to a massive construction site. Bathroom concerns were paramount among many in line (as they are among many of us.) "We can use the bathroom while the Apple store is open," one shopper who declined to be named stated. "But after they close, we have to go to Walgreens. There's a 24-hour one nearby, and another that closes at midnight."
33-year old Josh of San Francisco was waiting in line overnight all by himself. He had no plans to use the facilities, no matter where they were. "I ate a lot of pizza today to slow my digestion down."
Other campers had a buddy save their spot while they went on potty and food runs. Hot dogs and noodles were popular, although forward thinkers like Tim brought his own PB&J and trail mix. Two representatives of an app called "Mind the Queue" passed out business cards and offered to wait in line while folks ran errands. Apparently, the app allows users to upload wait times to earn rewards, and check out how long of a wait they can expect at Tartine. Or the wait for the new iPhone 6.
"I know I sound like I'm brainwashed," said Tim. "But everything Apple does is amazing."