iPhone 5: Long Lines, Beefed-up Security

Update: Martinez teen ready to camp out overnight at Walnut Creek Apple Store to be in line for the new iPhone 5 Friday morning. Long lines are expected anywhere the iPhone is sold.

Update 11:30 a.m. Friday, some other voices on the iPhone5. An over-view of re-views in the Huffington Post. A comparison of iPhone models in TechCrunch.

Update 7:05 p.m. Thursday, line was 19 people deep at 5 p.m. Thursday. First in line was Chris Thomas and his friend Chris Tupou, both of Pittsburg, who hit the line at 7 a.m. Thursday, meaning a wait of 25 hours for the doors to open and iPhone 5s to be sold.

Eighteen-year-old Zachary Matera of Martinez has a chair and a blanket and a plan to camp out at the Apple Store in Walnut Creek tonight to get a crack at the new iPhone 5 Friday morning.

The iPhone 5 goes on sale at 8 a.m. Friday, and stores stocking the smartphone are preparing for an onslaught.

The line was 19 deep at 5 p.m. Thursday along the South Main Street sidewalk from the Apple Store across the street from Neiman Marcus.

AT&T on Monument Boulevard in Pleasant Hill is planning to have the phone in stock, but staff warn that customers should expect a long wait in line at the store Friday.

Band, no. Wii, yes.

Matera, a student at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, said he planned to stop at the Apple Store around 7 p.m. Thursday and, if the line's not too bad, have dinner and return for the overnight wait. "I've never done that for a band," he said. "But when the Wii came out, I did.

"I have the iPhone 4, and it’s extremely out of date. If I had the 4S I wouldn’t get the 5. But with the update, I’ll get Siri, voice navigation for the map and the retina display. I’ve always loved Apple, and I try to get all the upgrades. I had the 3, and I updated to 4. I forgot to pre-order the 5, so I have to camp in line to get it tomorrow.
"Siri looks interesting because I can do things like check the scores to all the sports games when I’m at school. Also, Siri will read texts to you while you drive, and you can speak back what you want to say — instead of typing a text, which is extremely dangerous. I use the calendar for school to organize classes, homework and when it’s due."

Some potential sites for iPhones:

  • AT&T, 1231 S. California Blvd., Walnut Creek.
  • AT&T, 1521 Olympic Blvd., Walnut Creek.
  • Verizon Wireless, 1141 Locust St., Walnut Creek.
  • Radio Shack, 1537 N. Main St., Walnut Creek.
  • Target, 1871 N. Main St., Walnut Creek.

See if a store near you is selling the phones using this tool on Apple’s website. You can search for both Apple stores and other retailers. Make sure to select "iPhone" from the "Products" drop-down menu, and check with the store to see if the iPhone 5 is in stock.

Stores will open at 8

Bay Area representatives for AT&T, Verizon and Sprint have said their stores will open at 8 a.m. Friday to service customers.

AT&T spokesman John Britton said AT&T security would be “beefed up” and stores would be “staffed to the max” to get people through the expected wait as fast and efficiently as possible. He said the demand can be somewhat unpredictable.

“You can never say for sure if there are going to be lines. Some of the launches have had more people waiting than others,” said Britton. “One year they started forming at 3 o’clock in the afternoon the day before.”

He said the largest line he could recall drew 130 people to wait outside a San Francisco store in the Financial District.

Britton also noted that this will be AT&T’s sixth iPhone launch since 2007, when the company initially was the only cell provider to offer the model.

“We've been through this before,” he said. “We’re ready.”

Sprint and Verizon Bay Area representatives did not respond to requests about how their stores were preparing for the sale.

The new iPhone is thinner and lighter than the last two generations, but it is taller to accommodate a bigger screen. Apple says its processing speed is much faster than its predecessors, as well.

The iPhone 5 starts at $649, but the price can come down to as low as $200 with a cellular plan subscription.

iPhone 5 sales could boost economic growth in the U.S. by a third of a percentage point during the fourth quarter, J.P. Morgan anticipates. However, NPR's Planet Money says J.P. Morgan's analysis is faulty, predicting that most who splurge on the new product before the end of the year will likely cut back on other spending, making it a zero-sum game.

Are you planning to queue up for an iPhone? Is the whole thing over-hyped? Comment below.


  • What do you think of the iPhone 5? Worth the money and the hype?
  • Did you manage to pre-order the iPhone 5?
Patty K. September 21, 2012 at 02:36 PM
Personally, I'm sick and tired of hearing about Apple's newest release! I'm a paying (existing) customer and was locked out of my itunes account for more than 6 weeks. Apparently, the technology Apple had to unlock and reset passwords was no longer functioning. Apple left me and many others locked out with no explanation nor estimated date of restoral. Apple swept the problem under the rug under the guise that they were "enhancing" their security procedures, rather than admitting that their technology would no longer function! Did someone hack in to Apple's system and mess up their code? Apple makes so much money, one would think they would at least treat their existing customers right. When I asked for a credit for being locked out for 6 weeks, I received a big fat "NO", they were not giving out any credit. I hope that someday this greedy Company gets their commeuppance! Do unto others as you would have done to you!
KAC September 21, 2012 at 03:20 PM
Will never figure out why people camp out, stand in long lines, for the right to spend hundreds on a phone...it must be me I guess.
Julie Jepsen-Grant September 21, 2012 at 04:04 PM
Apple products rock! \o/
Johnny September 21, 2012 at 05:50 PM
Idiots! iPhone 6 will be out by Xmas!
Julie Jepsen-Grant September 21, 2012 at 09:24 PM
BTW, thanks Apple, for planting your store in our fair city. Location, location, location.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »