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Apple Enthusiasts Spend Hours In Line For Latest iPhones

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Customers lined up outside the Apple Store in the Cherry Hill Mall, to buy the iPhone 5s or 5c. (Credit: Mike DeNardo)

Customers lined up outside the Apple Store in the Cherry Hill Mall, to buy the iPhone 5s or 5c. (Credit: Mike DeNardo)

Mike DeNardo Mike DeNardo
Mike DeNardo, a veteran of KYW Newsradio for more than 25 years,...
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By Mike DeNardo, Syma Chowdhry

CHERRY HILL, NJ (CBS) – They lined up for hours, to be among the first to buy the latest iPhones being released today.

Joe Lombardo of Mt. Laurel knows the drill: He got to the Cherry Hill Mall at 7:30 last night to be the first in line for the new iPhone 5s, with its fingerprint recognition and faster processor. For Joe, it’s as much a social event as it is being the first on his block with the new phone.

“This is pretty much the fourth year in a row we’ve done it. I mean, this guy Marco over here I met him in the iPhone 4 line years ago. A couple of us, we’ve stayed friends. It’s more of an experience than anything. We get pizza delivered to us and hang out. It’s kind of a yearly thing.”

Customers lined up outside the Cherry Hill Mall hours before the Apple Store opened, hoping to buy the iPhone 5s or 5c. (Credit: Mike DeNardo)

Customers lined up outside the Cherry Hill Mall hours before the Apple Store opened, hoping to buy the iPhone 5s or 5c. (Credit: Mike DeNardo)

Joe says he’s looking forward to a fast phone with a lot of storage that will last him for years. Or until the next iPhone comes out.

“I wouldn’t say I want to be the first, but I think there are a lot of people who want to be the first to have the newest phone,” said Emily Abrams of Maple Shade. She got up at 3:45 in the morning and joined the line. She was about 20 back when the doors opened.

“I feel like the white and the gold are going to be very popular,” Abrams said. “So they may not be available later in the day or tomorrow.”

Reporter: “So it’s not necessarily about the features, it’s about the colors?”

Abrams: “That too!”

But for Rupesh Varghese of Washington Township, it was all about being first. He couldn’t wait for a 5s.

“I actually never went to sleep. I had a paper to do, and I came straight after I was done. I had nothing else to do today!”

Reporter: “Could you get one tomorrow? Could you get one over the weekend?”

Varghese: “Probably. Me and my friends were going to wait together, but we wound up getting split up at different stores.”

Rupesh says maybe his friends would race to see who gets their new iPhone first.

It was the same scene in Ardmore overnight, as iPhone users also camped outside of the Apple store.

“I got the 4S on opening day as well. Overall it wasn’t that painful,” Robin Ridge said.

For some – they just wanted the latest gadget – for others, they appreciated the new technology.

There is a new feature that disables your phone if it gets lost or stolen.

For added security – the phone has a finger-print recognition. The iPhone 5s will know you by your fingerprint — no more passcodes.

“Definitely a leap to the future, and security.  It makes the passcode somewhat obsolete,” Ridge said.

That worries some lawmakers.

US Senator Al Franken spoke out against the finger sensor – saying fingerprints are permanent and left on everything a person touches.

He wrote a letter to Apple’s CEO to get more clarity on security questions.

But some consumers would rather grab the new phone now – to check it out for themselves.

“If you don’t get it today you have to wait for months,” Feinstein said.

And the 5c in a plastic case is a cheaper alternative, going for $99. The 5s starts at $199.

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