The first person to purchase the iPhone 6 at an NYC Apple store told USA TODAY's Ed Baig that it feels great, lighter than the 5, but not too big.
Thousands of consumers lined up at Apple and wireless stores worldwide Friday hoping to snag the tech giant's latest iPhone.
The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus both went on sale, prompting customers to weather lines for hours – and even days – to secure Apple's newest smartphones.
Apple opened up pre-orders for the new iPhones last Friday, notching a record 4 million in the first 24 hours. With new pre-orders requiring customers to wait as long as November for their iPhone, many visited physical locations to try and purchase one of the two new smartphones sooner.
Apple's iPhone 6 includes a 4.7-inch touchscreen, while the iPhone 6 Plus boasts a 5.5-inch screen, both much larger than the 4-inch display on its predecessor, the iPhone 5s. The smartphones also introduced the mobile payments service Apple Pay, which lets users process credit card and other financial transactions with their device.
An Instagram video captured by user Mariel Myers shows Apple CEO Tim Cook opening the doors for eager consumers at the company's store in Palo Alto, Calif.
Lucy Woika, 24, waited in line since "about 7" this morning at the Apple Store in San Francisco's Union Square. Why? "If you're going to get new technology, you might as well get it when it first comes out? Then there's time to see what it can do."
Lucy Woika, 24, who works for note-taking software company Notability, was in line at 7 a.m. in San Francisco to get the new iPhone6.(Photo: Elizabeth Weise)
Joshua Schroeder, 28 and his wife, Kelly Crane, 27, were in line at 9 a.m. "I reserved the first day it was available." He is an app developer for IGN Entertainment "so I need the newest phone for my job," Schroeder said.
Joshua Schroeder, 28 and his wife Kelly Crane, 27, were in line for a new phone in San Francisco. "I reserved one the first day" said Schroeder, who is an app developer with ING Entertainment. "I need to have the newest phone. " "We do it every other year so mine will be next year," said Crane. The couple's four-month old daughter Rhylann Schroeder was more interested in the bullhorn wielding union protesters on the corner in front of the store.(Photo: Elizabeth Weise)
"We do it every other year. Mine will be next year," Crane said.
Charlie Zhao, 50, was a full block away from the head of the line at 10:30 am. He'd gotten in line the night before at 10 p.m., though he'd taken turns holding the place with a friend while the other went off to sleep in his office nearby.
The owner of a small telecommunications company called 88 Connection, Zhao was buying an iPhone 6 for his wife and a 6 Plus for himself. "Usually the men like the bigger one, size matters!" he said.
Charlie Zhao, 50, in line at the downtown San Francisco Apple store, a full block away from the head of the line. The owner of a small telecommunications company called 88 Connection, Zhao was buying an iPhone 6 for his wife and a 6 Plus for himself.(Photo: Elizabeth Weise)
He stopped to accept a burrito from a staffer from Chase bank who was going up and down the line, offering them to those waiting. "Ah, chicken, and it's still warm," he said.
Like many in line, he said he'll be handing his iPhone 5 down to his 16-year-old daughter. "She's just excited to get a newer one, she's got a 4 now," he said.
Seventeen-year-old J.P. Kinney walked out of the Apple store in Freehold, N.J. with a broad smile and raised his new 64GB iPhone 6 in the air.
"I'm going to show this off like nobody's business," he said.
Kinney, a wedding deejay, spent $320 for the new phone and said it was well worth the money. "This phone is going to last me a long time," Kinney said,.
As the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus went on sale Friday morning, Apple fans were lining the streets. But all that excitement led to a fight in New York and an on-camera near-catastrophe for a buyer in Australia.
For Chris Johnson, 53, who waited in line at the Apple Store on Manhattan's Upper West Side, the goal was to get a new phone and to get one faster than his girlfriend. "My girlfriend, she pre-ordered, so I'm just trying to beat her," Johnson said. "She thinks I'm crazy to be out here, but I think she's crazy to pre-order because you may not get yours for 7-10 days. I want to pretty much guarantee."
Akaila Johnson, 23, has been waiting in line for the next iPhone since Thursday afternoon. She also braved lines for the 5s, 5 and original iPhone, and says she hopes to pick up the 6 because the 6 Plus' size is daunting."It's a lot crazier here," said Johnson of the lines. She also waited for the device in previous years at Apple's flagship store in San Francisco.
Chris Martinette, 21, arrived at this Best Buy in Salisbury, Md, at 5 a.m. He hadn't pre-ordered and wanted to beat the rush. By 7 a.m., he was still the only person waiting in the parking lot.
"I guess I over-thought it. I definitely thought there was going to be a couple people here, at least," said Martinette, a senior at nearby Salisbury University. "I'm just excited for it. I'm more of a tech person than the average person. I'm wrapped up in Apple."
Meanwhile, at a nearby Verizon Wireless store in Salisbury, more than 30 people were already waiting in line before the sun came up. Many were snuggled in blankets and folding chairs, gathered around a table of donuts and coffee provided by store managers.
First in line was 27-year-old David Hearne, of Seaford, Del. He showed up at 11 p.m. Thursday with a blanket and cot. Going on no sleep, he still wore a big smile when explaining the lure of a new iPhone.
"I can't resist it," he said. "It's amazing. It's gonna be sexy."
Deniz Yalcin, 18, was the first in line at the Apple store in Freehold Raceway Mall in New Jersey, staking his claim outside at 4:30 Thursday afternoon.
It wasn't a tough decision for Yalcin, a student at Seton Hall University home for the weekend. He was excited for the iPhone 6 Plus and its large screen.
"It was either get to be home or I could sit here and do my homework and wait for them to open," he said. He read a book about Socrates, fell asleep around 2 a.m., then woke up around 5 a.m.
It was his fourth time waiting for a new iPhone to launch but the first time at the head of the line. His twin sister, mother and father joined him – a bonding experience unlike any they'd had before.
"It went faster than I expected," said his mother, Marzena Yalcin.
Terra and Phil Bridges, of Hortonville, Wis., were the first in line at a Verizon store near Appleton for the new iPhones. That meant the pair spent the night outside under blankets as temperatures dipped into the 30s for what they called a "date night" complete with snacks, reclinable chairs and an iPad rerun of the movie Rocky.
"We like having the latest and greatest," Phil Bridges said. "We're getting a 6 Plus for each of us. It got pretty cold overnight, but this is better than waiting for a pre-order."
Karl Sanger, of Waupaca, arrived around 11:30 p.m. expecting a larger crowd. He slept part of the night in his RV that he pulled into the Verizon lot waiting for the iPhone.
"I use it for my business as a pharmacist and I'm looking forward to the larger screen size and the new camera," Sanger said. "Samsung has been using this large phablet model for a while but I love Apple and like that it coordinates with my calendars."
Lyn Jameson, 40, had an older model iPhone for almost five years when she spent the night outside an AT&T store in Springfield, Mo.
"I couldn't wait any longer," she said.
Jameson, sitting in a fold-up chair she brought from home, pulled out her iPhone 3GS. "They'll probably mount that thing on the wall," joked Adrian Gambill, 27, who was second in line behind Jameson.
The front of the line had been camped out in front of the Springfield, Mo., store for more than 12 hours as the 8 a.m. opening drew close.
More than 300 people lined up outside the Apple Store in Palm Desert, Calif., forming a line that nearly wrapped around the entire store.
Megan Lanning, 23, of Bermuda Dunes, was about 100 people from the front of the line. She had been waiting since 8 p.m. the night before. Her uncle had paid her to wait in line on his behalf.
"It's fun," Lanning said. "Until about 3 a.m. Then everyone gets dead tired."
Contributing: Eli Blumenthal in New York; Elizabeth Weise in San Francisco; Brian Shane, The (Salisbury, Md.) Daily Times; Dustin Racioppi, Asbury Park (N.J.) Press; Nicholas Penzenstadler, The (Appleton, Wis.) Post-Crescent; Jess Rollins, Springfield (Mo.) News-Leader; Brett Kelman, The (Palm Springs, Calif.) Desert Sun.
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