In a scene that seems to be repeated whenever Apple releases a new version of the iPhone, hundreds of people lined up in the predawn darkness outside the company’s Lenox Square store Friday to get their hands on the latest mobile device.
Georgia Tech student Chance Shafor called the predawn wait in line “an exercise in patience.”
Shafor told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he queued up at 3 a.m. because Apple didn’t take pre-orders for the iPhone 5S, which goes on sale Friday morning along with the cheaper iPhone 5C.
“For the previous couple of years, they’ve accepted pre-orders, so we could purchase online and have it shipped to us,” the chemical engineering major from Florida said. “But this year, I suppose demand is very high.”
Apple is foregoing pre-orders on the more advanced 5s, reportedly because of the online pre-sale hiccups the iPhone 5 experienced last year. According to CNET, online stores [last year] experienced performance and availability issues almost immediately after opening up for sales. Both Apple and AT&T’s online stores temporarily went down for maintenance, while Sprint experienced slowdowns the first half hour the phone was on sale.
Shafor said his phone contract was due for an upgrade, “and the news about the new phone is impressive and enticing.”
He said he was particularly excited about the latest iPhone’s new, faster processor and “the fingerprint sensor for security.”
Patrick Evans called the camping out for the phone “an unfortunate ritual. I need it for work.”
The iPhone 5S and 5C are priced at $199 and $99 respectively, with a two-year contract.
“I really, really wanted the 5S that bad,” said Shari Morris. “I’ve had the [iPhone] 4 for a long time and it’s time for an upgrade, so why not get the latest one.”
Morris didn’t consider switching to another operating system such as Android for her upgrade.
“I’m a loyal Apple customer,” she said. “Why not stick with what I love?”