MediaFile

IPhone fans turn out early

June 19, 2009

It may not have been quite the crush of last year’s iPhone release or the first launch in 2007, but the new iPhone 3GS still saw its fair share of hardy, early arrivers and Apple enthusiasts on Friday.

The lines at the Apple store in downtown San Francisco saw a mix of men and women, young and old, some first-time buyers and plenty of upgraders.

It was the third launch day for Daniel Agonafer, who has bought a total of six iPhones, distributing some of them to various relatives. An admitted iPhone addict, Agonafer was in line at least 30 minutes ahead of the store’s 7 a.m. opening. He said he waited five hours on launch day last summer to get his hands on the the 3G version. But on Friday, he was on his way, iPhone in hand, before 8 a.m.

Jeremi McManus was No. 3 in line outside the store, arriving with a pillow and a camping chair at 2 a.m., coming directly from a bar. “I was with some friends…then I figured I’d roll right on over here. They were like, forget you dude.” He was preparing to make his first iPhone buy, after waiting for two years in hopes that the device would become available on Verizon. It is still only offered by AT&T.

Steve Berge was also making his first iPhone purchase. He said he couldn’t afford the device while he was a student. “I actually don’t have an iPod and so I felt like I should go all the way and get something I could use to play my music and use as a smartphone.”

When asked what was the most compelling feature on the new IPhone many people noted the obvious points such as the faster speed and video. But interestingly enough, a number of folks mentioned the digital compass. “I’m lost all the time, I’m new to the city, so I’m looking forward to the compass function to be able to tell where on earth I am,” Berge said.

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