200 customers line up at Apple store in Fresno for new iPhone [The Fresno Bee]
(Fresno Bee, The (CA) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Sept. 21--Close to 200 people were lined up in front of the Apple Store in Fresno's Fashion Fair Mall at 8 a.m. Friday, eager to get their hands on the new iPhone.
When the doors opened at 8 a.m., the determined crowd -- including at least one person who came from Southern California in search of a shorter line in the worldwide rollout -- started to applaud.
Fresno's sale was painless in contrast to Pasadena, where two men were arrested for fighting outside the Apple Store.
Kelly Tallant-Martin, in charge of marketing for Fashion Fair, said there were about 40 people lined up outside the Fresno mall as of 4 a.m. Another mall employee said some people started gathering at 9 p.m. Thursday night, but were made to move. About 25 people gathered outside as of 2 a.m., he said.
Clayton Briggs, 19, took a train from Los Angeles early Friday to get in line with his sister Kylie Briggs for a phone.
"The line here is probably eight hours shorter than what it would have been in Santa Monica," he said.
In anticipation for the new iPhone, Clayton sold his phone on eBay last week, scheduled to ship out Friday.
Kylie Briggs was in line at 6:45 a.m. And said she was excited about the phone's new features.
"It's supposed to have a way better camera, function much faster, and also has fingerprint technology" for passwords and credit card information, she said. "Apple really builds it up ... but they"ll come out with another one next year; that's the downside."
Fresno's Apple store had a tame crowd compared to what occurred at the company shop in Pasadena.
An overnight campout there turned chaotic Friday morning when two men were arrested for fighting outside the store and a man's plan to hire homeless people to wait in line for the coveted devices backfired, authorities said.
Dozens of people recruited at a downtown Los Angeles homeless shelter to buy iPhones in bulk at the Pasadena store were left unpaid, and they mobbed the man who had hired them, Pasadena police Lt. Jason Clawson said.
Dominoe Moody, 43, told the Los Angeles Times he was driven the 10 miles or so to Pasadena from Los Angeles with several vanloads of people to wait in line overnight.
Moody was promised $40 but said he wasn't paid because after handing the man an iPhone, the man was escorted away by police when people became angry with him.
The would-be entrepreneur, whose name was not released, was clutching a single bag stuffed with iPhones when he was escorted into a police cruiser and driven away at around 9:30 a.m.
The man was not cited because he did nothing illegal, Clawson said. Police were not investigating the incident, he said.
Hours earlier at the same store, two men were arrested after getting into a fistfight while in line along Colorado Boulevard.
For the first time ever, Apple released not just one, but two iPhones, giving fans double the choice and Wall Street double the heartburn.
Apple's dual phone launch closed out a tumultuous couple of weeks for the tech giant, which took a hit on the stock market after announcing its newest smartphones, rebuffed backlash over the not-so-low-cost of its low-cost iPhone option and discovered a security glitch in its new operating system. The pressure was on for Apple to post big sales of new iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S, and assure consumers and investors that the Cupertino company still had something revolutionary up its sleeve.
When the doors swung open at the Apple store on Palo Alto's main drag, just blocks from former CEO Steve Jobs' old house, the hundreds of customers lined up were rewarded with a new iPhone plus a sighting of CEO Tim Cook.
The two phones to choose from are the iPhone 5S, the company's new flagship device loaded with Apple's latest and greatest, and the lower-cost, heavier but colorful iPhone 5C.
The phones also went on sale in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore and the United Kingdom.
Apple did not say how many units of the iPhone 5S it had in stock, but it was clear that demand would exceed supply. Only a handful of the gold-colored 5S were available, said customers in line in Palo Alto, and an Apple spokesman said supply was getting short.
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster said in a note to investors he expected Apple would sell 5 million to 6 million iPhones, including pre-sale orders that started Sept. 13. GI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo was more optimistic, estimating weekend sales would hit 6 million to 8 million.
But investors, like fan boys and girls, may have to brace for disappointment. Tech news site AllThingsD.com reported that the U.S. had a "grotesquely unavailable inventory" ahead of launch day, and things weren't looking much better in the UK, where networks told the BBC there was a severe shortage of the iPhone 5S. The 5S is listed on Apple's UK website as being unavailable for seven to 10 business days. Some customers in Asia and Australia have been told they'll have to wait at least a week and as far out as October.
Both phones will ship with Apple's newest operating system preinstalled. IOS 7 was made available for download Wednesday and has been widely praised for its multitasking interface and software additions such as GarageBand. But Apple is now working to fix a security glitch that was discovered, and some critics say the system shortens the iPhone's already too-short battery life.
The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6386 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The Los Angeles Times and San Jose Mercury News contributed to this report.
(c)2013 The Fresno Bee (Fresno, Calif.)
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