Rough estimate: 75% of N.Y. iPhone line wants 16GB phone

The early adopters outside the Fifth Avenue store seem to prefer the higher-end iPhone 3G, but that's not necessarily indicative of how the phone will sell overall.

NEW YORK--In an informal poll of random people waiting in line for the iPhone 3G outside the Fifth Avenue flagship store, it looks like roughly 75 percent of these uber-early-adopters plan to purchase the higher-end 16GB iPhone. Poll

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Will you buy an iPhone 3G?

Yes, I'll be one of the first in line.
Yes, but I'm going to avoid the launch rush.
No, I'm not interested.

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Most of the other 25 percent plan to get the lower-end 8GB model, though a few people told me they still hadn't made up their minds (they still have an hour, after all) and one said he planned to buy one of each. But since these are the most hardcore of hardcore iPhone fans, it's likely that this 3-to-1 breakdown won't have any bearing on mainstream sales.

Another thing: People seemed to be pretty clueless when they were asked whether they knew if they would have to pay an additional $200 for the phone. Some existing AT&T customers aren't eligible for the subsidy on the phone and will have to pay up, but almost everyone in line seemed to be unaware of this distinction.

I attempted to talk to a few orange-T-shirt-clad Apple Store employees, who were happily chatting it up with people waiting in line, but the employees quickly reverted to the company's standard "clam up around the press" protocol and suggested I track down company publicists before I could learn exactly how many Apple reps were there on hand at the store.

Meanwhile, a kid near the front of the line is repeatedly yelling "INVISIBLE SHIELD!" Please, somebody get him an iPhone and get him home.

Click here for CNET News' complete iPhone 3G coverage.