iPhone 6 enthusiasts line up by Fifth Ave Apple location days in advance


New York, NEW YORK -- Excited customers began lining Fifth Avenue Apple store as early as Friday, Sept. 5, eager to get their hands on the newly-released iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Long before Tuesday's official unveiling, lawn chairs, umbrellas, tarps, winter coats and more cluttered the sidewalk, creating an informal parade comprised  of the dozens that had gathered, hoping to be one of the first in line.

Brian, a Brooklyn native and the third person in line, has been an Apple customer since 2007. He and his cousin were first in line when the iPhone 5s and 5c released in 2013, and they had the first and second positions this year until a couple from Miss. payed him and his cousin $1,250 each to give up their spots for third and fourth place in line. Thanks to his winnings, Brian will, essentially, get the newest iPhone for free.

Nina, a young local waiting with her boyfriend, has bought every consecutive iPhone since the iPhone 3 on its release date. This year, Nina and her boyfriend took turns holding their places in line so that both of them could shower, eat and take breaks. For Nina, the appeal of the iPhone 6 lies in its beauty, and it seems as though her loyalty as a customer is unwavering.

“I have had the iPhone 3, 4, 5 and now I’m going for the 6, and I always get it on the first day--I’m not going to break that record!” she said.

After the doors opened to the public, televisions inside Fifth Avenue location began live-streaming Apple’s product launch. Apple CEO, Tim Cook, introduced the new, larger iPhones, as well as a brand new product, the Apple Watch, at an event in Cupertino, Calif. According to witnesses, enthusiastic employees were watching the broadcast as well when they were not assisting customers.

It has been nearly a year since the iPhone 5s and 5c were released, and the expectations for the new products have been steadily building. The most noticeable difference in the iPhone 6 is its size: its screen measures 4.7 inches, as compared to the iPhone 5s screen, which measures 4 inches.

The iPhone 6 Plus offers many fans what they have been eagerly anticipating--a bigger screen. The new device measures 5.5 inches in height compared to the iPhone 5s, which measures 4.87 inches.

Photo by Michael Martinez. Apple enthusiasts set up camp outside of the Fifth Avenue store for the release of the iPhone 6.

Even more impressive than the size change, Apple claims, is the new hardware and software--the most advanced yet. According to the company’s website, the phones run on more powerful A8 chips and a brand new operating system, and will have longer battery lives. The new products also feature a steadier, more focused, camera, single-touch digital payments and web surfing that is faster and easier.

The new phones will begin shipping in the U.S. on Sept. 19, with advance orders set to begin this Friday, Sept. 12. Initial prices will be similar to those in the past--$199 for a two-year contract with the iPhone 6, which includes 16 gigabytes of storage. The Plus prototypes, which feature double the memory, will cost $299 for 64 gigabytes and $399 for 128 gigabytes. The iPhone 6 Plus phones will cost $100 more than the regular models of each configuration.