As expected, a lot of people lined up to get the much-hyped Apple iPhone 5 on the first day of sales. The crowds were larger than usual at one suburban Washington, DC location, at least, security staff told eWEEK. Crowds weren't allowed to line up all night at the Apple store in Fair Oaks Mall in Fairfax, Va. In fact, iPhone buyers weren't even allowed on the property until the doors opened at 5 a.m. This led to a surrealistic sight of hundreds of cars driven by anxious iPhone buyers circling the mall parking lot, like sharks waiting for the next baby harbor seal. Once allowed inside, the eager buyers were herded into Disneyland-like zigzag lines with nothing but hundreds of feet of velvet rope to keep them from running amok. Apparently it worked. Crowds were orderly, but Apple employees were uncharacteristically grumpy. More than one would-be buyer stormed out of the store muttering words we can't use here. Was Apple having a problem? They won't say, but sales seemed to take a very long time. Apple reported Sept. 24 that it sold 5 million iPhone 5s during the first weekend of availability. This was more than the 4 million iPhone 4S units sold the first weekend of sales last year. But the results disappointed analysts who estimated that Apple might sell as many as 6 to 10 million units the first weekend.
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iPhone 5 Draws Endless Lines of Buyers on First Day of Sales
iPhone Buyers Queued Up Outside Verizon Stores Too
As shown by the line outside the Verizon store, Apple wasn't the only place with lines of buyers waiting to buy the iPhone 5. A lot of people showed up at the Verizon store where the service seemed a lot faster than at the Apple Store.