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Dozens line up for iPhone 5′s coming-out party

BY JEFF BRANSCOME

Amy Cary was the only one in her family without an iPhone until Friday.

Even her grandfather had one before her.

“I’m behind the times,” said Cary, 25, of Fredericksburg.

Early Friday morning, she and friend Francisco Hernandez—who joined her for moral support—waited in line outside the AT&T store in Fredericksburg’s Central Park for the launch of Apple’s iPhone 5.

About 30 people were quietly standing outside the store when it opened at 8 a.m.

Cary, who expected more customers, showed up at 4:30 in the morning. Three brothers, who were first in line, got there at 1 a.m.

According to Don Timberlake, manager of the Central Park Verizon Wireless store, more than 30 customers were there to buy iPhones at 6 a.m., and 15 customers were outside the Verizon Wireless Massaponax store waiting for the doors to open at 8.

Of course, the turnout was larger in big cities.

In New York, several hundred people lined up outside Apple’s Fifth Avenue store.

In London, some shoppers had camped out for a week in a queue that snaked around the block. In Hong Kong, the first customers were greeted by staff cheering, clapping, chanting “iPhone 5! iPhone 5!” and high-fiving them as they were escorted one-by-one through the front door.

Apple received 2 million orders in the first 24 hours after announcing its release date, more than twice the number for the iPhone 4S in the same period when that phone launched a year ago.

Analysts have estimated Apple will ship as many as 10 million of the new iPhones by the end of September.

For Lynda Peyton, 48, of Spotsylvania County, it just so happened that the launch of the new phone was also the last day that she could exchange her iPhone 4.

If it wasn’t for that, she said, “I wouldn’t be foolish out here losing my sleep.” She had been waiting at the AT&T store since 7 a.m.

“Once you have one, you can’t really live without a phone that has everything,” Peyton said.

Cary, the woman who purchased her first iPhone on Friday, said she’s excited about finally having apps such as Words with Friends.

“I needed a new phone,” she said. “I was sick of having a BlackBerry.”

Jeff Branscome: 540/374-5402

jbranscome@freelancestar.com

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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