More than 200 people were waiting in line this morning in Los Gatos when the downtown Apple store opened its doors, and opened another new era in cellular technology.
Jose was the first customer; he came from San Jose, and lined up just before 9 a.m. Thursday morning. After waiting 24 hours, Jose may have been a little tired. He didn't have much to say.
Scotts Valley resident Phil Neuman was right behind. He also showed up in front of the North Santa Cruz Avenue location about 9 a.m. on Thursday, set to wait nearly 24 hours in a line waiting to buy a new phone. "People-watched," said Neuman. "That was it."
"I think it's the world's best smartphone, is really what it is," said Neuman. "It's going to improve my productivity, and it's going to help me help my customers, so I want to get my hands on it early." Neuman went on to explain he's part of a new breed of IT consultants. "I'm bilingual; I have to support Windows, and I have to support Mac. I have to support both environments."
Peter Matakdee had been in line since 1 a.m. He was upgrading from his iPhone 4S to the new version. "Got off work at 10 p.m. Went home, cleaned up, and came straight here," he said. "It was cold last night. Really cold."
Matakdee explained why he'd stand in line for seven hours to buy a phone. "It's giving me that feeling of touching the technology first, in the first day."
Matakdee was also in line in 2007, in Los Gatos, when the first iPhone was released.
Adrian Bedard got in last night's line at 10 p.m. "It's been fun, had some sleep, talked to people," said Bedard. He said it's a different crowd than might attend a concert. "Everyone is here with a single goal, which is to get a new piece of technology. It could mean everyone from jocks to nerds."
Both of Bedard's parents were Apple employees, but he doesn't attribute his brand loyalty to genetics. "Right now I need a new phone, and I think the iPhone is the best thing around, so that's what I'm getting."
Bedard is jumping from iPhone 3. "Mostly the speed (of iPhone 5), and I want a phone battery that doesn't die."
Overnight, Bedard addressed the last day of his soon-to-be-replaced battery with some MacGyver'ing. "We stuck a power cable into the lights there in the tree, ran a splitter from that, so everyone could charge their phones and computers."
Danielle Black came from Reno. She had a wedding dress fitting in Los Gatos later later in the day, but "I didn't want to miss getting my iPhone 5 today." She got in line a little before 5 a.m. The contract on her 4S was expiring. "I've been a consistent iPhone buyer, so I'm not going to change."
Tim Kimmet is from Los Gatos. Nephew Jacob Eichler is from Santa Cruz. They showed up at 2 p.m. on Thursday. "At 4 a.m., I walked to the back of the line, and I counted over 100 people."
Why did Kimmet come on Day One? "Mostly for the experience, that's the main reason we did it. I hoping to see Steve Wozniak in line, but I guess he's in Australia."