UPDATED 09/21/12 12:09 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — The much-anticipated iPhone 5 is out at last, and crowds of people who camped out in some cases for days now have the coveted smartphone they were waiting for.
As CBS 2’s Ed Curran reports, if you order the iPhone 5 online, they actually bring it to your house and hand it to you. But for some people, there is nothing like waiting outside in line to buy it at the Apple Store or another electronics retailer.
The inventory at the Apple Store at 679 N. Michigan Ave. was enough to keep up with demand, and everyone who wanted a new iPhone got one.
Some people waited all night, and some much longer. Julian Diggs waited for days, arriving outside the Apple Store at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday.
He was the first in line to buy the iPhone at the Mag Mile Apple Store.
‘It’s been almost like a party,” Diggs said. “We’ve been calling it ‘iParty.’”
At 8 a.m. Friday, with the iPhone pep rally inside the store, Diggs and others in line all got their own personal Apple shopping assistant to help them explore all their options. The product was taller, thinner, lighter and faster than previous models.
Should you upgrade from your iPhone 4S? Josh Davis of ABT Electronics says you should upgrade your operating system, then compare to the speedy iPhone 5.
“Do the iOS 6 update, get a feel for it, love it, and then when your buddy has the iPhone 5, compare it,” Davis said, “because you might say to yourself, yeah, that A6 processor is worth it.”
Everyone wore a smile as they came out of the store.
“I feel like I won the lottery, pretty much, like I feel like I’m the luckiest man on earth,” said Nathan Chinn.
And everyone gasped and held their breaths and Brett Lyons emerged victorious from the store and dropped his naked iPhone, sending it skittering across the sidewalk. The iPhone survived, but we’re not sure about Lyons.
And as for Diggs, he’s happy he camped out.
“Oh my God, three days and I finally got it,” he said. “I feel amazing.”
While the Apple Store kept up with demand, it was not clear that every store would be able to. Earlier Friday morning, Christina Cheng, manager of the AT&T Store at 600 N. Michigan Ave., said the store would try its best.
“Here, we’re trying to get as much inventory as we can, and I think that’s the case at all our other stores; at every AT&T store we have in the city, there’s a line,” Cheng said. “So I think we’re going to get as much as we can early; make sure everybody gets a phone.”
And around the country, some customers went to extreme measures to hold their places in line. At the Apple Store in downtown San Francisco, a man paid someone $1,500 to wait in line for him.
The iPhone 5 has a larger screen and faster data speeds with 4G LTE, among other features.
CNET’s Scott Stein says it also features a new processor, a new design, iOS 6 and other features. Stein described the iPhone 5 as a “reboot” of the device, which started the smartphone revolution in 2007.