Lines Form as iPhone 5 Goes on Sale

PHOTO: A line forms in front of the Upper West Side Apple Store in New York City before the iPhone 5 goes on sale Friday, September 21, 2012.
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Some decided to stay at home and patiently wait for the UPS and FedEx truck to pull up. Others stood in line for hours. For what? The iPhone 5, of course.

In typical Apple product launch fashion, fans eager to get their hands on the latest iPhone camped out in front of Apple stores across the country all night.

All Apple stores opened at 8 a.m. today to start selling the iPhone 5. The phone, which was announced last week but rumored for months, has a larger 4-inch screen, LTE, a faster processor, a new design and the new iOS 6 software.

At Apple's flagship New York City store on Fifth Avenue, it was estimated that over 200 people waited overnight for Apple to snatch up the phone. Of course, not all of them were planning to even buy the phone. They are there for the money-making opportunity. People queuing at stores are selling their spots in line for up to $200, enough to buy a new iPhone 5. Others are making a few bucks, not selling spots in line, but holding them for others.

At the Apple Store on the Upper West Side in New York, close to 70 eager fans lined up. Queues also formed at stores around the world in France, Germany, Japan and the U.K.

In France, some Apple employees voted to strike today, with an aim to maximize impact by timing the walkout to coincide with the hotly anticipated phone's debut. The strike was prompted by one of the main unions representing workers at some stores across France – including the main Paris store – after talks about working conditions broke down. Demands included installation of water fountains, providing meal vouchers, and paying a 13th month of salary as is common at French companies.

Apple sold 2 million phones online within the first 24 hours of being on sale. Those who ordered the phone within hours of it going on sale should receive it today, but for others the ship time has slipped to three or four weeks.

The phone, which starts at $199 with a two-year contract, will also be available through AT&T, Verizon and Sprint stores starting today.

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