The volume of customers waiting in line for new iPhones has prompted Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster to stick to his forecast that Apple can sell 5 to 6 million handsets before the weekend is over.
Tracking early-morning lines at a few Apple Stores on Friday, Munster and his team found an 83 percent jump in eager buyers at Apple's flagship. Specifically, 1,417 people were already in line at 8 a.m. local time, compared with 775 people in line at the same time last year waiting for the iPhone 5.
The surge in customers could have been affected by the lack of iPhone 5S preorders. Last year, the iPhone 5 scored 2 million preorders during the first 24 hours. And the 5th Avenue store boom hasn't yet been seen at other stores tracked by the analyst.
Lines at Apple Stores on the Upper West Side in Manhattan and in Minneapolis were about flat or slightly up compared with last year.