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UPDATE: iPhone 5 launch draws Apple fans to Valencia Town Center

Posted: September 21, 2012 10:42 a.m.
Updated: September 21, 2012 5:32 p.m.

Eager iPhone 5 enthusiasts started lining up Thursday afternoon outside Apple Store Valencia Town Center, and the line extended more than 100 yards by Friday morning as Apple released the latest version of its smartphone.

“It’s the technology, the speed, and there’s the coolness factor — that’s fun, too,” said Scott Tenney, 53, of Stevenson Ranch, who arrived about 8 a.m. for a new phone and was about 100 customers from the store’s door.

“It’s Apple. They’re always out there, they’re always one step ahead,” Tenney said.

“They create the market — you need to get one.”

Peter Kiefer, 18, arrived around 3 a.m. with brother Corey, 16.

“I’m an Android man,” he said, referring to a rival smartphone from Google. “I think everyone’s just excited because it’s light, it’s got a new screen — it’s the new thing.”

His brother, however, was excited to obtain the new iPhone.

Employees of the store in Valencia Town Center mall created ticket orders for those waiting in line — a ticket for each phone in their inventory. The store still had phones available despite the crowd waiting outside.

DJ Skip played music for the hundreds who waited outside after the store opened.

The phone frenzy was repeated around the world as eager buyers formed long lines Friday at Apple Inc. stores in Asia, Europe and North America to be the first to get their hands on the latest version of the smartphone.

Apple’s stock closed up $1.39, or 0.2 percent, at $700.09. The stock surpassed the $700 level for the first time earlier this week as excitement for the launch mounted.

For Apple, the iPhone introduction is the biggest revenue driver of the year. Analysts expect the company to sell millions of phones in the first few days. This spring, iPhone sales slowed down from their historical growth rates, apparently because potential buyers were holding off for the arrival of the “5.”

Apple now needs to sell tens of millions of phones before the end of the year to justify its position as the world’s most valuable public company. Although Samsung Electronics Inc. of Korea sells more smartphones, Apple’s iPhone profits are far greater.




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