Apple iPhone X on sale; dozens waited in line outside Michigan Avenue store overnight

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Apple fans were beyond excited for Friday's iPhone X release. The first person in line outside the newly-opened Michigan Avenue store had been there since noon Thursday.

Chase Thilleman waited about 20 hours, in 40 degree temperatures, to be first at the Chicago store to get his hands on the iPhone X.

"When I got here at 12 p.m. yesterday, it was a surprise to me and the people at Apple. They were just like, 'Well, I guess you're the first person in line.'" Thilleman said.

Apple Michigan Avenue opened an hour early Friday for the shoppers lined up outside the store.

Many people came from far and wide. A man from India said he was scheduled to be on a flight back home later Friday morning, but he didn't want to miss out on his chance to get an iPhone X in the United States.

"Wanted to experience it once and that's what I'm doing right now. It's been a very good, crazy night. We made all these new friends, traveling. We just take a walk every couple of hours, just so that we get warmed up, then we come back and sleep again," Kalpid Sarda said.

Thilleman, Sarda and dozens of other Apple enthusiasts spent the night outside the store, which is located along the Chicago River, and watched the sun rise as they waited in line. Hundreds of people were in line by Friday morning, when Apple staff moved everyone up to street level.

Many people in line, like Brian Lamy and Dana Lee, said the new phone was worth the wait.
"It's not just a phone. It's the energy and just the experience," Lamy said.

"I'm exhausted. I'm ready to set it up and go to bed," Lee said.

The biggest hits on the $1,000 phone? Facial recognition technology that allows people to use their face to open the phone and the enhanced screen.

"It is supposed to be a better security feature," Angela Bolling, who waited in line, said. "If I lost my phone, nobody, in theory, could do anything with it."

Despite the new features, Android user Shea Thorbs doesn't understand the hype.

"I can't believe it, people really camp out for the phones," Thorbs said. "I have twin boys that are right behind me. I try to use their phones. I don't understand it. Androids are easier for me."

Apple representatives at the Michigan Avenue store couldn't say how many phones they had in stock, but they were confident everyone who waited overnight would get a phone.

"I use my phone all day, every day," David Berger said of his decision to wait for the iPhone. "It's the one thing I always have on me, so I just want the best."
Copyright © 2019 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.