Big Crowds In San Francisco As New iPhones Go On Sale

A long line wrapped around two corners of the Apple store in downtown San Francisco this morning for the launch of the latest models of the iPhone.

Customers queued up early this morning at the store at 1 Stockton St. to purchase the iPhone 5S and 5C iterations of the popular Apple-brand smartphone.

The phones were unveiled Sept. 10 at Apple headquarters in Cupertino.

Doors at the Union Square retailer opened at 8 a.m., but that didn’t stop people from lining up hours earlier.

Brian King, 42, of San Francisco, grabbed a spot around 4:50 a.m.

At that early hour, he said there were already about 80 people ahead of him.

King said there had been people waiting since Thursday night with chairs, tents and other supplies.

As he waited to be let in by store employees, who were passing out tickets for phones and managing the large crowds, King said he’d gotten to know the people around him.

King already has an iPhone and said he had time before work to snag the newest model.

“It’s time for an upgrade,” he said.

Next to him, Ashley Casperit, 24, of San Francisco, said she wanted a gold-colored phone—a new feature—but those were already sold out by the time she got in line.

At the end of the wraparound line near the Powell Street cable car line stood Mike Benna, 23, of San Francisco.

Benna said all of his electronic gadgets are Apple brand and that he was excited to upgrade his iPhone to the newest model, noting that the improved camera added to the phone’s appeal.

San Francisco resident Fernando Padilla, 29, said he was getting a new phone because of the new security features, the supposedly improved efficiency and better camera.

“I’m an iPhone junkie,” Padilla said. “I’ve got to have the newest technology.”

He has waited at other Apple launch events, he said, and was ready to pass the time with his phone loaded with music to entertain him.

As customers started entering the store and leaving with phones in the signature white Apple boxes, store employees made their way through the line offering waiting customers coffee and water.

Sasha Lekach, Bay City News

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