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Something in the air

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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.
Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET
The line outside the Palo Alto store at around 7:20 a.m. PT.
Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET
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.
Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET
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.
Caption by / Photo by James Martin/CNET
The line outside an AT&T store in downtown SF was barely a line. But that may well have been because...
Caption by / Photo by Josh Lowensohn/CNET
...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.
Caption by / Photo by Josh Lowensohn/CNET
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.
Caption by / Photo by Josh Lowensohn/CNET
Inside the SF flagship store. Finally, we're not just on the outside anymore.
Caption by / Photo by Josh Lowensohn/CNET
Customers hover around a table of iPhones and iPads at the SF flagship store.
Caption by / Photo by Josh Lowensohn/CNET
Not a typical customer, but you never know. It's San Francisco. He looks a little shell-shocked by the whole experience.
Caption by / Photo by Josh Lowensohn/CNET
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.
Caption by / Photo by Josh Lowensohn/CNET
Updated:
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