Thanks for checking out The Brew and our first ever live blog! I’ll be using this post to take you through a real-time account of the anticipation, line sitting and inevitable delirium that comes as a result of overnight waiting for the newest consumer electronic device. Check back often and Happy iPhone Launch Day!

(Post times are from the latest to the earliest. Scroll down and read up for the entire entry)

10:05 am – Now that this event is basically wrapped up… you know, outside of being a fanboy and showing off the phone to everyone in the office today… I can say three things:

1) I am exhausted. Mixing this level of tired with a sure-to-happen lunch food coma could be dangerous. If you need me, check the AKHIA couches.

2) I wouldn’t change any of what I did if I could do it again. There’s an energy and fun factor to all-night events like this and trying (albeit horribly) to relive some of my early 20’s by going to these events every so often is a way to reflect on just how much sleep is needed after a certain age.

3) This phone is frickin’ cool! Seriously, stop by the offices and hunt me down. Sure, at its core it is the iPhone we all know (and many of us love), but they have thought through many of the details required for a larger screen and really have a nice product to sell to consumers.

Will I do this whole line waiting thing for any upcoming events? The Apple Watch or the iPhone 6S Plus (please don’t let them name it that!)? Perhaps. We’ll see how the months shake out. Can you expect another live blog from me? Heck yes! This was one of the more fun activities I’ve participated in on behalf of the agency and I hope you had as much fun reading it as I did putting it together. Until next time.

9:00 am – Back at the AKHIA offices now. Quite a long night with some unexpected mall cop drama, delirious comparisons of myself to an astronaut, and meeting some cool new people. If you’ve never done the whole “line-waiting” thing, it’s a heck of an experience and one that will change your perspective on what it means to be brand loyal and a fan of a company or product.

8:45 am – Wrapping up the last of the registration and sales process now. This phone (iPhone 6 Plus) is really quite large and is a big departure from the iPhone 5 models. Will take some getting used to, but I think I made the right choice. I don’t love the case, and will eventually switch it out, but there are so few options on launch day that it’s more of a necessity (protection – I’m clumsy) than anything else.

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8:15 am – Nothing like more waiting. As to be expected, Apple’s sales systems are running really slow right now, but their staff is super helpful as always and is making sure we don’t tip over the breaking point and go crazy.

8:05 am – Finally, in! Look at all these beautiful new iPhones just waiting to get into the hands of the weary.

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7:55 am – Just. Five. More. Minutes. After 13 hours, the journey is almost closed. The Apple Store employees are trying to infuse one more shot of energy and get pumped up themselves for having to come into the store so early.

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7:00 am – After many hours in the cold, they let us into the mall to hang out by the store. Per usual, the Apple Store had an overnight crew ready to flip the store set and make the new iPhone models the star. Still waiting another hour before we can finally touch the phones – arghhh.

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6:15 am – Apple employees handing out coffee and scones. Delish. Yep, I said delish.

5:30 am – The excitement is building. I made a quick run to Starbucks and come back to a whole slew of blue shirts (Apple employees) that are getting us all pre-registered for our devices. They then sent our current phones a text message that contains a QR Code (this may be the only time I’m OK with a QR Code being used!) and so when we get in the store at 8am, it will hopefully speed things up.

So, what did I order? iPhone 6 Plus 64GB Silver. Soon to be mine. My precious.

4:00 am – The first device has bit the dust. The MacBook Air needs a good charge up before further use. Sad face. I figure that is a good segue into a little Android vs iOS comparison since I have moved from the MacBook to a Windows laptop.

So, why Apple and iOS instead of Android? Well, there’s not a good answer for it. In the office, we have both and we use them frequently, so I’m comfortable with each platform. But I’ve ultimately chosen Apple because of the cohesiveness and ability to easily migrate, upgrade and change over time. Sure, if I stuck with all Samsung devices or all HTC devices, I could do much of the same, but when placing the two platforms side-by-side, iOS feels snappier. It does feel like it “just works.”

Android on the other hand – almost infinitely customizable and able to be personalized. That is a big advantage for them, but I feel it gets lost upon a mass of people when it happens inconsistently or is confusing as to how to perform those customizations. And outside of the nerds and those willing to spend the time to really get the most out of their device, the general public (in my opinion) doesn’t want to put up with that.

So for me – iOS all the way. But I don’t assume that’s the answer for everyone. You should buy a device and feature set based on what you need it to do. What you need to perform your job better or enhance your life. And, let’s face it, sometimes it’s just a budget decision.

Whichever device and platform you choose, take some time to dig around and try it out. Ask your resident nerd – every family or company has one – or take a class to get the most out of it.

If you’re in line with me today – I hope you enjoy your new phone, I know I will. Oh – and don’t drop it.

3:00 am – I long for the 9 am hour when my heated seats will be warming my backside. Yep, it’s cold. According to Weather.com, 48 degrees to be exact. Ok – so not frigid, but when you’re sitting in the dark and unable to get warm, it feels much colder.

Note for next time – bring hand and foot warmers. Maybe invest in a heated jacket or flannel-lined jeans. Wow, that makes me sound like an old man. Time to accept it? Perhaps.

I’ve stopped significant food or water intake – too risky with no reliable restroom around. I’d equate this to Apollo 13, but that might be a bit dramatic. Ah, forget it – I’m a frickin’ astronaut.

2:00 am – Ya know, I was really hoping for a little more drama and stand off between the nerds and the mall cop. But since none has materialized, I guess it’s time to move on.

In the last hour, I’ve written that rebuttal and opinion on Jess’ original blog concerning the Apple Watch. It will be up in the coming days to week (I think… have to check with the editors). For a 1:30 am writing session, it’s pretty well constructed and will prove my point superior at all levels. Wait… I mean, it will be a clear and concise set of points that serve to argue why the Apple Watch will appeal to folks like Jess and the rest of the mass public. Heck, that sounds pretty smart, right?

Stay tuned for more.

1:05 am – Interesting developments in the last hour:

1) Noel had pizza delivered and the line of 40+ now consider me some sort of deity. Or maybe that’s just my interpretation. Either way, thanks, Noel!

2) Apparently there was some confusion over what people were told is acceptable line-waiting procedures and what isn’t. This has caused a comical exchange of events. Angry nerds, determined mall cops and a figure-head-like supervisor/mall owner that we haven’t yet seen. Cops have showed up and left and all previously assembled tents and shelters have been torn down. We compromised on the chairs and are allowed to keep those up until 5am, but no later. Small victories, people. Small victories.

3) I have made an executive decision (because really, who’s here to tell me otherwise), that until the aforementioned security snafu is resolved, I will only blog and update about that. People want the hard-hitting news, they get the hard-hitting news.

Until the next update, enjoy a picture of the delicious pizza:

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September 19, 12:00 am – A milestone, indeed. So much of a milestone that I’m marking it with that fancy dotted line you see below. Everything above that line is happening on Friday, September 19. Below it? Shoot, that’s the past. Old news. Thursday, September 18.

Welcome to the future and welcome to #iPhone Launch Day!

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11:15 pm – Ok. We now have an invigorated spirit. An Apple Store employee just said we may be getting a delivery of delicious breakfast foods around 7am. 8 hours. Only 8 hours. Crap.

11:00 pm – Another possible late night topic: Why I’m excited for the Apple Watch and Jessica Forrester isn’t. Want a primer on her position? Check out her blog post.

10:45 pm – So, with a minor (read: minuscule) influx of increased post following/readership, I feel like I should give some background to the new readers or those that haven’t checked in on us in a while.

1) On what accounts to mostly a whim, Ben decided it would be cool if I blogged while in line for a new iPhone. And since I cross over between digital strategy and faux-IT guy at AKHIA, I was able to bring enough technology to support this endeavor.

2) We have established two potential hashtags to track my musings – #iSchwabe and #iPee. These allow me to easily identify my comments and my bathroom trips equally.

3) There are a small tide of folks that have asked me about the iPhone 6 versus the newest Android phones. More on that to come. Maybe a midnight post when I’m well beyond crazy.

10:30 pm – The line seems to have leveled off a bit. 40 or so folks now. From previous experience (waiting in lines for Apple stuff before), this is about the time that you buckle down and wait for the sun to come up. There will be some new line sitters around 5am. Also, check out WEWS 11p newscast tonight. I sent this photo there, hoping to gain a very small moment of fame.

Apple Store Summit Mall

 

10:15 pm – The Muzak has stopped and the mall lights are off. We will now deteriorate into the various ways in which a crowd that is only vaguely familiar with each other can entertain themselves. I’m expecting a mass implosion of nerd-isms or everyone goes to sleep.

10:10 pm – #NowPlaying #Muzak – Justin Timberlake Cry Me A River

10:00 pm – As suspected, the iPhone 6 Plus will be in short (very short) supply when the stores open. I was going to camp in front of my local AT&T but quickly found out that obtaining a 6 Plus from ANY AT&T store in Ohio would be impossible. Hence my current location. Upside – great folks in line with me and closer to work in the morning. You didn’t think I’d actually go home to sleep, did you?!

9:50 pm – Observations of a pre-10pm hour:
1) Don’t underestimate the nerds. We have a mini utopia set up here and it’s getting better by the minute… of course, it is also fueled by caffeine and *maybe* some alcohol. We are right by two restaurants with bars, after all.

2) Summit Mall has decent Muzak going. Hope it goes all night. Not counting on it.

3) All bathroom-related updates from here on out will be noted as such – #iPee – thanks for the suggestion, Lisa!

9:30 pm
Tent count: 4
People in line: Approx. 40
Wives who are in line because their husbands made them come: 3… quickly fading to 2
Caffeine-based beverages I’ve consumed since this live blog started: 4
Layers of clothing currently worn: 2

We also passed a major milestone at 9pm. The mall closed. That meant one last mad dash for the restrooms and caffeine. One of the overnight Apple employees also stopped out to deliver water.

All-in-all, a win so far.

9:30 pm – Lest you think I’m bored. We’ve got two football games streaming – Atlanta vs Tampa Bay and Aurburn vs Kansas State. I have no rooting interest in either… some fantasy football interest in the NFL game… but mostly the games are serving as mindless entertainment while we’re still early in the evening.

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8:30 pm – The highlight of the 8pm hour – my nerd rig. It’s what’s getting me through the night. Not seen is the iPhone 5s and extended battery pack used to power said phone.

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8:10 pm – And I know you also want to know how I’m bringing you all of these great updates with no reliable Internet or electrical? A picture of my nerd rig is coming soon. Hint: a lot of Apple products.

8:00 pm – So, by now you may be wondering what these iPhone (or any cool tech) release lines look like – here you go:

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7:50 pm – First in-line meal consumed. Chicken Philly from Charlie’s. Probably more sodium than any human should consume in a 24 (or 48) hour period, but I figure if I’m going full nerd, I should do some stereotypical nerd things. Now I just need some Mountain Dew and Doritos. Speaking of, did you know Surge is back?

7:00 pm – Finally found (or at least hope to have found) a location with the iPhone 6 Plus – my unicorn for the evening. Summit Mall. So here’s to the start of a long night. Now to find food and caffeine.

4:55 pm – Wrapping up my day at AKHIA… looking for a few high-fives and shared enthusiasm for my trek ahead, but am finding looks of craziness and amazement. Deep down they know I am a nerd, so I think it’s OK.

2:30 pm – I am about to consume my first caffeinated beverage of the afternoon. This is abnormal for me as I usually don’t drink caffeine outside of a morning coffee, but I know there’s a long night ahead. And miles to go before I sleep. And miles to go before I sleep.

1:45 pm – It looks like Walt Mossberg’s team at re/code has taken their review units out into the real world and given some non-techies a chance at a hands-on. Check it out… and yes, the anticipation is now killing me.

12:30 pm – Looking forward to a long but exciting night of line waiting, caffeine intake and meeting some fellow iPhone fans. If I’m not first in line, I may have to bribe some people to make it so.