Live from New York, it's the iPhone launch!

Reporting from the front lines at the 5th Avenue Apple store.

Check out my grainy little video--that's the iPhone line in midtown Manhattan. Can you believe that there's apparently barely anyone waiting at the city's AT&T stores?

It's a madhouse here! There are even more TV crews, reporters, and gawking passers-by at the 5th Avenue Apple store in Manhattan for the iPhone launch in fewer than three hours. The sun's out, and it's not too hot, but still decently uncomfortable. I don't have an estimate on how many people are in line, but it stretches from the steps in front of the Apple store down to the corner of 58th St. and 5th Avenue, around the corner to 58th St. and down to Madison Avenue, around that corner to Madison and 59th, and now ends midway between Madison and 5th on 59th St. (I'm not good with providing directions. Look at the map instead.)

The iPhone line, as of 3 PM, plotted on a Google Map Google Maps

The product placements continue: soda company Izze has been handing out apple-flavored drinks, Wired magazine has been distributing issues, a company called Lifetime Products has brought extra chairs, and Prizebook.com has given out t-shirts and food to the people at the front of the line. Apple is providing bottles of Smart Water, as they have been for the past few days. Luxury toy retailer FAO Schwartz, across the plaza from the Apple store, has given balloons to people at the back of the line and gift bags to people at the front.

Apple store employees are currently at the front of the line leading people in cheers. "When I say 'i,' you say 'phone'!" I'm not kidding.

About the author

Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.

 

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