Taking iPhone 5 by storm (pictures)

Waiting in line in New York for an iPhone 5 has meant suffering through a rain storm and being poked away by a policeman. Is it worth it?


Greg Sandoval

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1 of 10 Hazem Sayed

Taking Apple by storm

The iPhone 5 goes on sale Friday and the first people in line are all waiting it out, at least in part, to attract media attention to one company or another. Still, hundreds of consumers without any marketing agenda are expected to get in line behind them soon. As of Tuesday morning there were about 20 people in line at Apple's Manhattan flagship store on 5th Avenue.

Some of the people have waited in line since Friday. While these events often start out with a party-like atmosphere, it was obvious that the rain from a storm that hit early Tuesday was adding to the discomfort. Marathon line-sitting can be torture.

Some of the campers tried keeping the rain off with cardboard boxes, trash bags, tarps or umbrellas. A few even banded together to pay for a rental car that they parked nearby so they could take turns getting out of the rain. We will be updating this gallery leading up to Friday (This gallery first appeared on September 17).

Read CNET's hands-on review of the iPhone here.

2 of 10 Greg Sandoval

Rain pounds iPhone 5 line

The storm only made the wait for the new iPhone 5 more difficult. The air temperature wasn't too cold but sleeping on the ground meant laying down in water.

Hazem Sayed, the founder of social networking app Vibe, was the first person in line. He has survived on fast food, slept little and is now suffering from a cold.

3 of 10 Greg Sandoval

'It's like a long plane trip'

Sayed compared the wait for the iPhone 5 to a very long plane trip.

He said he tries sleeping at night on his folding chair rather than on the ground but he concedes it's uncomfortable. Photographed is someone in line who doesn't seem to have any problem sleeping in a chair.

4 of 10 Greg Sandoval

Viva Apple!

Some have ridiculed the line sitters for camping all night on the street just for a phone. On the other hand, some Apple fans think those waiting in line are cool. A couple of tourists from Argentina greeted Sayed on Tuesday (wearing the hat). Later, the pair asked to take their photo with him.
5 of 10 Greg Sandoval

Shhhhh. Please allow me a few iWinks

Those in line say employees at the Cube have been gracious. They let them get water, charge their laptops, and use the store's bathroom.

Photographed is the line at Apple's 5th Avenue store, also known as the Cube, Monday morning at 6:30 a.m. ET.

6 of 10 Greg Sandoval

Up and Adam-12

Besides all the other hardships that go along with waiting in line for an iPhone 5, there also is what must be the unsettling feeling of being woken by a policeman.

Here, an officer with the New York Police Department starts waking line-sitters in front of Apple's 5th Avenue store.

If that seems a little humiliating, consider that the cop can't find it too much fun to be an alarm clock for a bunch of gadget hounds.

7 of 10 Greg Sandoval

Yes, there are rules at Apple events

A New York policeman bids a good morning to those waiting in line for an iPhone 5. He tells them they can stay but that they must now wake and put away their sleeping gear. In addition to Apple's security personnel, two policemen were stationed near Apple's 5th Avenue store on Monday morning.
8 of 10 Greg Sandoval

Marketers love Apple

On Monday, Roger Chinchilla was last in line for the iPhone at the 5th Avenue Apple store and he seemed frustrated by that.

He and his brother Josh arrived on Friday with the intent to stake out the front of the line and was told that Apple hadn't sanctioned the line yet, so people would not be allowed to wait. By the time he returned, the line was formed and he was well back of the front.

Chinchilla is the founder of Refundo, an online financial services company, and he says he's there to promote the company as well as get his hands on an iPhone. He is unapologetic about his marketing or his love of Apple products. When asked if he heard a passerby call the group pathetic, Chinchilla joked: "What isn't pathetic is my Apple stock."

9 of 10 Screenshot by Greg Sandoval/CNET

Stand-in line sitters are cheap

Paid line-sitters have begun posting ads to Craigslist. Here, a line sitter is offering to sit in line for what appears to be multiple people for $75 per head. That's not a bad deal. But if he's selling the same spot in line multiple times then it probably wouldn't be a great deal for the people behind this entrepreneurial line sitter.
10 of 10 Greg Sandoval/CNET and Margie Nugent

The iPhone 5 and body paint

Jessica Mellow, a body-paint model and artist (that's her on the right fully made up), has become something of a regular line sitter at the Apple events in New York. But Mellow objects to being described as a "publicity seeker."

Mellow acknowledges accepting a free iPhone from the company that sponsored her, electronics reseller Gazelle. But she says she's no iPhone-y. According to her, she loves iPhones and the adventure of camping out and would have done it had she not found a sponsor. I'll leave it up to readers to decide.

What is undeniable is that Mellow has interesting pursuits.

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