New iPhone draws long lines outside Apple stores

October 14, 2011 (CHICAGO)

Some eager customers camped out overnight. Pre-orders for the new iPhone 4S broke the record set by last year's model.

Apple customers at the North Avenue store were greeted by eager blue-shirted salespeople clapping and cheering, ready to sell the new iPhone 4s now available in stores.

It was the same drill at the Michigan Avenue Apple Store, where lines formed overnight.

Twenty-two-year-old stock trader Thomas Kerney is buying his new iPhone at AT&T on Monroe and Wells. He had been queued up since 9:30 Thursday night and was the first one in the door when the latest model was released at 8 a.m.

"Seems like it's gonna be the best phone that's gonna be out this year and in the next 12 months, so I figure I get a jump on everybody else and be the first in line," said Kerney.

The phone -- Apple's fifth -- has a faster processor and an improved camera. However, some customers and investors were disappointed that Apple didn't launch a more radical model.

It has been more than a year since the last iPhone release and it comes just days after its innovator Steve Jobs died of complications from cancer.

"I thought about it. It's the memorial issue of the last phone that he ever came out with," said Steven Parker, who waited in line.

"I think we're all aware that this is something he put his personal touch on, not only this phone, but maybe the next phone as well, so that's something that's nice to have," said Sinh Tran, who also waited in line.

AT&T has been in the business of selling iPhones for years and representatives say, with the high demand, they have plenty in stock.

"What's really great about today is we're ready to serve as many people as we possibly can and make sure that the folks who have not done the pre-order, we're gonna be able to take care of them and get them out of the store with their iPhone up ready and working," said AT&T Illinois Vice President and General Manager Dave Fine.

Apple and phone companies started taking orders for the iPhone 4S last Friday. Apple said Monday that over 1 million orders came in, breaking the record for the last iPhone release.

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