iBear

Apple's iPhone 5 went on sale today worldwide, and fans everywhere came out to pay their respects -- and get their hands on the brand-new gadget.

Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple's own backyard area of San Francisco and Palo Alto, Calif., certainly didn't skip the party.

Here we see folks in Palo Alto. The line may not have been as long as the one further north in SF, but it easily won the prize for most playful.
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Photo by: James Martin/CNET / Caption by:

Turn right to enter

The line outside the Palo Alto store at around 7:20 a.m. PT.
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Photo by: James Martin/CNET / Caption by:

Something in the air

A bubble machine showers the Palo Alto crowd, as part of an advertising stunt for Moshi's iVisor screen protectors. Aren't bubbles supposed to make everyone smile? Maybe not so early in the morning.
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Photo by: James Martin/CNET / Caption by:

Lawrence of iPhonia

Well, at least one person was smiling. It's the thrill of shopping victory for the first person in the Palo Alto line (who was also the first person out the door with goods in hand). He offered up only "Lawrence" when asked for his name. Way to go, Larry.
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Photo by: James Martin/CNET / Caption by:

Moving north...

The line outside an AT&T store in downtown SF was barely a line. But that may well have been because...
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Photo by: Josh Lowensohn/CNET / Caption by:

iLeft my heart...

...the real goings-on were outside the flagship Apple Store at Market and Stockton Streets (not far from the cable car line).

Here's the line at about 7:20 a.m. PT.
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Photo by: Josh Lowensohn/CNET / Caption by:

Money talks

First to exit the SF flagship store, this smiling man paid someone $1,500 to stand in line for him till the last minute. He wouldn't give his name or talk to the press afterward.
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Photo by: Josh Lowensohn/CNET / Caption by:

Step right up

Inside the SF flagship store. Finally, we're not just on the outside anymore.
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Photo by: Josh Lowensohn/CNET / Caption by:

iPad plays second banana

Customers hover around a table of iPhones and iPads at the SF flagship store.
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Photo by: Josh Lowensohn/CNET / Caption by:

Perhaps not the walk he had in mind

Not a typical customer, but you never know. It's San Francisco. He looks a little shell-shocked by the whole experience.
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Photo by: Josh Lowensohn/CNET / Caption by:

Stock photo

An SF Apple Store employee hustles boxes of iPhone 5s onto a dolly as the UPS guy looks on.

If one thing was clear, it was that the SF store was very well stocked. That was the case last year as well, though it's a stark contrast to the shortage faced by new buyers purchasing an iPhone 5 from Apple's online store or from a carrier partner.
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Photo by: Josh Lowensohn/CNET / Caption by:
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