Apple: Yeah, since 1 this afternoon.
Me: I notice on your site it says to line up early. If I get here at 8am, will you have phones at 8am?
Apple: N... not really. We usually get them around 9 or 10. Sometimes as late as the afternoon. Today we got them around 10, and ran out around 1 with the lunch crowd.
Me: How many do you get every day?
Apple: I cannot disclose that.
Me: Like give me a ballpark figure, a thousand?
Apple: Oh, far less than that.
Me: I just read your stores sell an average of 95 a day. Given that you run out, would it be safe to say you only get about 100 a day?
Apple: Close to that, usually.
Me: Given that your entire store is covered with posters and displays advertising the iPhone 3G, plus numerous ads on TV and in the mall displays, do you think it's fair that you are always out? Doesn't that sound like bait and switch?
Apple: Switch with what? No one comes here for an iPhone and gets a laptop instead.
I have to say, no Apple employee has ever been surly, unfriendly, or confrontational to me during any of this. In fact, they have been downright nice and helpful. They pick and train these people well.