by Sam Spence
You've got to hand it to them, few companies do a product rollout better than Apple. Today's iPhone 5 debut is no exception, as we saw at the company's King Street store where eager Apple fans queued up around the corner onto Liberty St. awaiting their chance to fork over $199 (at least) for the newest hardware when the store opened its doors at 8 a.m.
Marcos Galofre, a 21-year-old Art Institute film student from Spain, was the first one in line. Complete with a tent and a loyal roommate in tow, Galofre galloped out of the Apple Store after 20 hours of waiting in line, ushered by cheers and high-fives from anyone within reach. The aspiring filmmaker decked out in Apple swag, complete with an iPod Nano watch and a pair of homemade Apple-logo adorned shoes, says he uses the iPhone everyday to shoot short videos on the fly. When asked how long he planned to stay in the Holy City, he noted excitedly, "Well, I just signed a two-year contract!"
Junior College of Charleston political science major Brandon VanDyke, who secured his spot in line at midnight last night, says he gets each new iPhone on release. Like many of the successful iPhone line sitters, he was hauling a folding chair and other essentials along with his new phone in the iconic Apple bag when he left the store.
Some of the early adopters aren't your usual Apple patriots, though. One new iPhone owner we talked to said he didn't decide to join the line until he saw it while walking home from a night out on Upper King Street. Another had been nursing an old cell phone for almost a year awaiting the next Apple announcement.
The newest iPhone, the sixth iteration of the best-selling smartphone, sports a slightly larger 4-inch screen, making it large enough to fit a fifth row of apps, and is 30 percent thinner than its predecessor, according to Apple. The phone sold out of its initial online pre-order supply in a matter of hours when it went on sale last week, and it won't spend long on store shelves for the time being.