| One of the first iPhone buyers jumps in joy in New York. (Reuters)
Washington, June 30: Philadelphia mayor John Street joined the queue to buy the eagerly awaited iPhone at 3.30am on Friday and got his new gadget about 16 hours later, but the acquisition was no sheer joy.
The mayor was taunted some eight hours into his wait in the long queue. “How can you sit here with 200 murders in the city already'” one concerned citizen asked him.
Philadelphia’s murder rate has sharply gone up this year making it the highest in almost a decade and the residents are worried.
Street left the queue after the taunt, but asked someone to hold his place. He returned after lunch and decided to engage in some public relations, talking to others waiting for the coveted iPhone.
Until he was taunted over the city’s murders and then decided to engage in some late public relations, Street just sat there in a big lawn chair the entire morning, listening to music from one of his three iPods, the media reported.
Stories like that of mayor Street will spawn more late night comedy around the iPhone, which is capable of web browsing, email, music and videos in addition to being a cellphone.
Actually, late night television has already contributed to the hype about Apple’s newest product.
Comedian Jay Leno quipped on his popular show on Thursday, on the eve of the iPhone launch: “Everyone getting a new iPhone' They say the new iPhone will totally revolutionise the industry. At least until Saturday, when they release the iPhone 2.0.”
The next version of the iPhone is already the butt of so many jokes.
David Letterman, another late night TV host, “introduced” the iPhone Nano as the next version on his show. It can also act as a breath-freshener, he claimed.
Others have variously said to the delight of millions, especially of the “have-nots” who cannot afford the new gadget, that iPhone can cure cancer, mend broken bones and resurrect princess Diana.
Although there was frenzy when Apple stores opened their doors at 6pm yesterday to sell the first iPhone, its media launch did not go well.
On the Today show on NBC, co-host Meredith Vieira was to have received a call on her iPhone at the appointed hour from the other co-host of the programme, Matt Lauer, who was in London.
The call showed up on Vieira’s iPhone screen, but she could not connect to Lauer despite her best efforts.
Tens of thousands of Americans are disappointed that areas they live in are not covered by AT&T, the telephone service provider.
Vermont, large parts of South and North Dakota, many areas in both Alaska and Wisconsin are out of AT&T’s range and the iPhone will be of no use there.
Many buyers yesterday got hold of the first sets to resell them to the highest bidder.
But Reuters wrote late last night that iPhones on Internet auction sites failed to attract even one bid.
One rapacious seller was offering his iPhone to “collectors only” for a price of $10,000, almost 20 times the what he paid at an Apple store a few hours earlier.
Technology industry specialists say it will be at least two months before they can assess the success of the new gadget.
They point out that in November last year, buyers rioted in the frenzy to purchase PlayStation3 game consoles, but after two months there was a glut of the coveted item.