I was there at the Singapore iPhone 3G launch over at Singtel ComCenter which happen at midnight on the 22nd August 2008. I reached there at about 9.15pm and started queuing. I was the 43rd in the queue according to the sticker pasted on my application form.
There are 2 parts of the queue, the first part (Killiney side) is where you queue up and then the part time sales people will write down all your details in the application form as well as the equipment form. Once you are done, they will bring you in batches to the second part of the queue which is in front of the glass house. You will wait at there till midnight. There is a live band EIC and Glenn Ong from Class 95 to entertain you. I brought my laptop along as well so I can provide live updates on Hardware Zone forums.
Approaching midnight, all the top brass from Singtel came and together with the first person in the queue who started queuing since 12pm stand in front of the glass house’s doors. At the stroke of midnight, they pulled the big ribbon which is wrapping around the glass house to unveil the launch of Apple iPhone 3G in Singapore and “mini” fireworks were released. The first guy went in together with the top 10 customers of Singtel into the glass house to get their iPhone 3G. I think the top 10 customers are the one who gave Singtel the most money.
The first guy took about 15 minutes inside and once he is out, all the media are taking pictures and interviewing him. Once his 5 minutes of fame is over, it is the time for the rest of us in the queue to get ours. I think there are 2 places to buy your iPhone 3G, one in Hello Store itself and one in the glass house. The staff directed us to the Hello Store instead and gave each of us a queue number. My queue number was 1032. I waited for about 5 minutes before it is my turn as perhaps the counter is still setting up.
The staff who attended to me is extremely polite and knows his products well. I applied for the Singtel iTwo Value Student which is S$48.15 per month and Broadband on Mobile 1000 which is S$22.42 per month. Totaling it up would be S$70.57 per month. I got the Black 16GB iPhone 3G at S$508 but because of the student plan, I get another S$50 off the phone and hence the phone cost S$458.
I suppose to meet Weiquan and queue together but I was too early and hence I queue first. Nevertheless after purchasing my iPhone 3G (I was done by 1.30am actually), I waited for Weiquan inside the Hello Store and we waited for his turn. He also applied for the iTwo Value Student which is S$48.15 per month and also got the Black 8GB iPhone 3G for S$298 after S$50. He said he will wait for a while before applying the Broadband on Mobile 1000. The staff who attended to him was not very polite and I am not really happy with his work attitude.
There are 32 counters inside the Hello Store if I am not wrong, but there are only 3 cashiers and that is the bottle neck. Every sales staff just put the customer iPhone on the floor, chair or any available space they can find. And when it is the customer turn, they will ask you for your name and the color of your iPhone 3G and they will search through the whole floor of iPhones before finding yours. A lot of people make noise about the issue especially the guy behind us, he was making a very huge fuss about it.
We left about 3.30am and I sent Weiquan home and drop by Li Xiang house to say hi.
Later at night, my brother said he saw me on Channel 8 10pm news but I was not at home. I wanted to watch the Channel U 11pm news to see if they repeat it, but to my disappointment, they didn’t run it. I managed to catch a video posted by xin.sg (it was Li Xiang idea) and I managed to see myself in the video.
After watching the video, I was like WTF! How come only the first person in the queue got served by Singtel Staff wearing gloves while the rest of us do not have that. That is so double standard.
Here is the “mini” fireworks video that I took: