Coinciding with the release of the third generation iPhone, this one called the iPhone 3GS (the 'S' stands for speed, Apple says), its wireless partner, AT&T, has launched an "Experience Store" in Chicago's Loop.
"This place has it all," a press release from the company begins. "4,500-square-feet, music, video, games, two giant High Definition screens and the latest wireless phones. This sleek, ultramodern store also lets customers look at, touch and experience everything in the store"
The new store, located at 70 W. Madison, is "much larger than the typical wireless store," and features a fully integrated media experience to show off the communications provider's full line of wireless, broadband, video, and home phone voice products and services.
Of course, the star of the day is the new iPhone 3GS, touted as "the fastest, most powerful iPhone yet." Anticipation has been building since the new phone was announced at Apple's WorldWide Developer Conference on June 8.
On Friday, those who must have the "latest and greatest" started lining up early, with some wrapping around the corner of Michigan and Huron at Apple's flagship Chicago store as early as 1 a.m.
When mother nature decided to rain on the parade, Apple provided garbage bags for customers to keep dry.
And Apple seemed better-prepared for the launch this time, with lines moving much faster than in previous years.
iPhone 3GS comes pre-loaded with the new iPhone 3.0 operating system, which was made available two days ago for download for owners of previous iPhones. There's also a version available for the iPod Touch.