Sunday, July 1, 2007

iPhone Lansing background

Lansing, Michigan, is a kind of small town in a big city. It is the capital of Michigan, located in "the middle of the mitten", with a population of about 130,000. Right next door is East Lansing ("home of Michigan State University"), where I live. The metropolitan Capital Area is about half a million. Lansing is a car town (where it all began in 1896 with Oldsmobile: now making Cadillacs, Saturns, and Pontiacs for GM). So the pillars of the economy are state government (in a new town carved out of the swamp in 1847), the auto industry, Big Ten education (MSU was the first land grant college in 1855), and the remnants of the agricultural past.

So, after following the hype surrounding the iPhone over the past several months, I decided it might be fun (and interesting) to get one and try it out. The Lansing area is too small for an Apple store (nearest ones in the larger Grand Rapids to the west and the tonier suburbs of Detroit to the east), but we do have two "the new AT&T (formerly Cingular)" stores, one in each of our malls.

Being the clever fellow that I am, I opted to go the the west-side Lansing Mall area store (the car-worker side of town), reasoning that demand would be lower than at the Meridian Mall in our tony suburb, Okemos, where many students from MSU, and professionals from that part of town might be in line.

It turns out, it didn't really matter. Apparently from local news reports, (Lansing State Journal, WILX TV10) there were no more than about 50 folks at each store on Friday. I'm not sure, but I think everyone that wanted an iPhone the first day, actually got one.

"Small town in a big city."

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