While the Friday launch of the iPhone went seemingly spectacularly, at least one disturbing incident marred Apple’s new mobile device’s day in the sun.
At the Stockton Street Apple Store, while patrons were milling about and enjoying the iPhone and the atmosphere, a distraught and clearly drunk interloper came onto the scene.
The Newton MessagePad 2100, the last Apple product in the handheld category, entered the store shortly after 8:00 PM and began shouting at patrons.
“Hey!” the Newton said. “What’s everybody doin’, huh?! You all buying something? Oooh, the big iPhone rollout!”
Approaching the iPhone, the Newton at first feigned friendliness.
“Oh, hey, buddy! Congratulations! Hey, I remember my launch so, you know, if you want to hang – heh-heh – and maybe get a beer, I can give you some pointers.”
Clearly uncomfortable, the iPhone said “Uh, well, I’ve kind of got a lot of events to go to. You understand.”
“Ooh, yeah!” the Newton said. “I totally get it. Mr. Big Shot doesn’t have time!”
As the iPhone attempted to explain itself, the Newton began to turn away but then whirled around, swinging wildly at CEO Steve Jobs’ most recent pet project. It missed and landed flat on its back.
Lying on the Apple Store floor and floundering in a drunken haze of misery, the Newton then yelled at the iPhone “Oh, what, do you think you’re better than me?! Huh?! Do you?!”
Somewhat embarrassed by the whole incident, the iPhone said “Well, uh, I do now…”
The iPhone was then hustled on to its next interview. The Newton lay on the floor until Adam Tow arrived and took it home.
Apple declined to comment about the incident, but did set up several orange cones around the spot where the Newton had laid until it could be mopped up.