Yes, folks, it’s open. After months of anticipation, Charleston, and South Carolina, for that matter, finally has an Apple retail store — officially the King Street Apple Store — in the heart of downtown. No more drives to Charlotte for a Genius Bar. It’s a pretty sweet thing for Apple fanatics and technology consumers in general.
The first thing I noticed is that Apple knows how to manage a line. And it’s a good thing, because this line was LONG…
The earliest reports of a line came in around 9:30 or so last night. The line snaked around all the way back to St. Philip Street, but they eventually split the line off into iPhone and non-iPhone lines after it opened. In the iPhone lines, they brought their handheld kiosks, which they also used to ring people up (nuts!!!), and ensured that the folks in line would have no road bumps into getting an iPhone. Incredible. Apple has this wired, folks. An enterprising fellow helped keep people happy by selling sodas to iLine folks.
At 10am, the doors opened, and Apple employees greeted the first visitors with high-fives and t-shirts (the first 1,000 customers got t-shirts). Let’s let the video tell the story:
After the initial hysteria, I had to move my car — I was at a meter. Once my car was moved and I came back, the aforementioned line-split occurred. The general visitors line was much shorter, so I went ahead and got in it.
About 20 minutes later, I was in — and it was pretty awesome. The store is gorgeous, well-appointed, and has lots of great stuff. I didn’t want to take too many pictures inside ’cause I didn’t want them to feel like I was casing the place or something. While inside, though, I did play my Apple Store story from last semester on an iPhone 3G and got a picture of it to boot.
My, how time has flown. :) Because I work downtown, I’m sure I’ll be in there quite a bit (likely sans debit card as that could get troublesome). It’s really great to see Apple finally here in South Carolina, and I can’t think of a better place for it to open a store than Charleston. It fits very well with the caliber of shopping on King Street, I think.