NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Apple fans around the world are getting their first look Friday at the new iPhone 5.
In New York City, excitement has been building for more than a week outside Apple’s flagship store on Fifth Avenue where eager customers have been camped out for days to be the first to get their hands on the new phone.
1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck reports
When the store opened at 8 a.m., hundreds of customers high-fived Apple employees as they streamed through the doors.
“I’m breathless,” said Keenan Thompson of Jackson Heights. “I don’t have words to explain how happy I am right now.”
Hazem Sayed from Midtown was the first one in line. He had been waiting outside the Fifth Avenue store since Sept. 13.
“For me to have as a software, tech person, to have it on the first day and be able to work with it is an advantage and I wouldn’t meet as many interesting people as this,” he told 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck. “This is like love at first sight.”
Catheryne Caveed, 23, was in line at a Verizon store in Queens. An iPhone 4 user, she had no regrets about skipping last year’s model, the iPhone 4S. The only real upgrade in the 4S, she said, was Siri, the voice-controlled “personal assistant.”
“The 4S looked the same as the 4,” Caveed said. With the 5, “everything is different — even the headphones.”
The iPhone 5 is thinner, lighter, has a taller screen, faster processor, updated software and can work on faster 4G mobile networks.
“Everyone here is so enthusiastic,” said Nicole Niss, who waited in line for 48 hours. “It’s about the culture, not just the product.”
The handset has become a hot seller despite initial lukewarm reviews and new map software that is glitch prone. Apple received 2 million orders in the first 24 hours of announcing its release date, more than twice the number for the iPhone 4S in the same period when that phone launched a year ago.
The new iPhone has also gone on sale in parts of Asia and Europe.
In London, some shoppers had camped out for a week. In Hong Kong, the first customers were greeted by staff cheering, clapping, chanting “iPhone 5! iPhone 5!”
The iPhone 5 will be available at Apple’s 356 U.S. stores Friday. Each customer who makes a purchase at an Apple store will be offered free personal setup service, which will help them customize their device.
Aside from Apple stores, the iPhone 5 will be available at Apple’s website as well as through AT&T, Sprint, Verizon Wireless, some Best Buy, RadioShack, Target and Walmart stores and certain Apple authorized resellers.
Some analysts think more than 10 million iPhone 5’s could be sold by Monday.
The phone will be available in more than 22 countries on Sept. 28.
(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)