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Enthusiasts Line Up Outside Apple Store For iPhone 5 Release

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BOSTON (CBS/AP) – The long-awaited arrival of the iPhone 5 came with some fanfare on Friday. A small crowd of enthusiasts spent the night outside of the Apple Store on Boylston Street in Boston, wanting to be the first to get their hands on the new phone.

While many were eager to get their hands on a device that’s faster, lighter, and bigger than previous iPhones, some people say they just came for the experience.

“I think the best part is meeting people. You meet the most interesting people,” said one woman waiting in line.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Karen Twomey reports

Others, however, wanted to be the first to have what represents the first major revision of the iPhone’s screen size since the first model was introduced in 2007. The new iPhone has an elongated screen —4 inches measured diagonally— that allows room for another row of icons and lets widescreen movies fit better. The calendar will now show five days at a time instead of just three. Previous iPhone models had 3.5-inch screens. The new phone is also thinner and weighs less than previous models. It can operate on LTE cellular networks and sports a new processor and updated software.

Presales for the phone shattered previous records, with more than 2 million units sold through Apple’s website in the first day.

T. Michael Walkley, an analyst with Canaccord Genuity, said he believes the iPhone 5’s “differentiated form factor versus the iPhone 4S” and other improvements should drive strong iPhone 5 sales. The record advanced orders on Friday and through the weekend caused Walkley to revise his previous prediction that Apple would sell 6 million of the new iPhones by September 29. He now believes “Apple could ship 9 million to 10 million” in that time, he told investors in a note on Monday.

Janney Capital Markets analyst Bill Choi said Apple’s announcement Monday “suggests iPhone 5 is running well ahead of iPhone 4S.” In a note to investors, Choi reaffirmed his earlier expectation that Apple will sell 7 million to 10 million iPhone 5s by the end of September.

It won’t be easy for Apple to top the breakneck sales pace set by previous iPhones. Apple said last year that it sold over 4 million iPhone 4Ss just three days after its launch on October 14. That launch occurred less than two weeks after the death of Apple’s iconic founder Steve Jobs and as the iPhone 4S went on sale, scores of Apple devotees were still mourning him with candlelight vigils and impromptu memorial ceremonies outside of Apple stores across the globe.

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.

On Monday AT&T Inc. said it set a sales record for the iPhone 5, with customers ordering more of them than any previous iPhone model on the first day of orders and over the weekend.

(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.)

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