Apple's iPhone 5 set for debut Friday, as die-hards on line set to get reward
The iPhone 5 will be unleashed to the masses Friday to enormous spectacle, as weary line-sitters at Apple's Fifth Avenue store prepare for their payoff.
The phone, announced last week, has already broken sales records for the tech giant, with customers placing more than 2 million preorders online in a single day.
Anticipation for the gadget began building almost immediately, and a line outside the Fifth Avenue store formed the day after it was announced. The line about doubled from the 17 diehards Wednesday to about 35 on Thursday, but an unexpected group also showed up: Occupy Wall Street.
Sixteen members of the group lay in sleeping bags and on cardboard on the line, shouting at passersby, "Stop buying you don't need," and protesting Apple's labor practices abroad.
"Most people don't know where their products come from or how they're made, and there's this disconnect in America in the things that we use and how it's made," said Zachary Kamel, 26, a Massachusetts resident who was outside the Apple store Thursday.
"You need to have a connection to the things you consume, and it's a dangerous mentality to not understand and make those connections," he said.
Kamel and others said it was unclear what the group would do when the store opened Friday.
Still, those waiting in line said the group didn't dampen the excitement.
"They're want to express their views, but it's not a deterrent for me or anyone," said Luis Lorenzo, 41, of Corona. "They have their opinions, but we all have our reasons to be here and that doesn't affect our excitement."
Added Amy Lukes, 21, midtown: "I understand why they'd protest at the store here ... but I don't think in anybody in line feels differently about Apple because they're here."