Apple has its own ‘Get ready for iPhone‘ guide, with advice on how to prepare your contacts, calendar, music and videos. In anticipation of tonight’s UK launch, I’ve prepared my own pre-purchase to-do list.

‘Finger tips’
Before you reach your grubby hands into your soon-to-be empty pockets tonight, make sure your fingers are worthy of the iPhone’s gorgeous 3.5-inch touch screen display.

It takes at least fifteen seconds to wash your hands properly, which – according to a dedicated NHS hand washing website – is about the amount of time it takes to sing the ‘Happy Birthday’ song twice through. The site includes a 10 step guide, but if you can memorise the routine (“Step 6: backs of fingers to opposing palms with fingers interlocked”), you might as well learn this.

Look the part
You might think that buying an iPhone is your ticket to the lifestyles of the rich and courageous. But remember, tonight’s launch is for the first generation model, so expect to see some early adopters and hardcore Apple fan boys in the queue.

Plus, this isn’t San Francisco.

So, stand out from the crowd of the great unwashed, the forum fanatics and – dare I say – the Windows users, and pick an outfit that’s casual, clean and as close to Justin Long as you can manage. (Unless, of course, you’re a girl, in which case wear nothing and make a queue of geeks very happy.)

Make a nest
You’re going to want to play with your iPhone right away (make a few ’emergency calls only’ before you activate it), but think about how you’ll carry it from one curious admirer to another. Don’t just stuff it into your jeans’ pocket with your keys, redundant iPod nano and Wii controller.

If you’re going to put it in your jeans, make sure you wash them first, inside out with the pockets reversed. Fortunately, the iPhone gets a winter launch here in the UK, so most punters will be wearing jackets to brave the queue. Pick one with a lined inner pocket and place your iPhone with its screen facing you.

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