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A pre-sunrise line formed outside the Apple Store in Emeryville, Calif., in the East Bay across from San Francisco.

Updated:Caption:Photo:James Martin/CNET
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Despite the line at the Apple Store in Emeryville, the nearby Best Buy was crowd-less.

Updated:Caption:Photo:James Martin/CNET
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Just a few folks waited outside the Verizon store in Emeryville early this morning.

Updated:Caption:Photo:James Martin/CNET
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People in line at the Apple Store in Emeryville awaited the 8 a.m. witching hour.

Updated:Caption:Photo:James Martin/CNET
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The folks in line at the AT&T store in Emeryville didn't have much company.

Updated:Caption:Photo:James Martin/CNET
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The downtown San Francisco Apple Store was a magnet for iPhone 4S buyers today.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Lowensohn/CNET
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The predawn crowd in downtown San Francisco.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Lowensohn/CNET
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People in line at the downtown San Francisco Apple Store bide their time on their smartphones and tablets.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Lowensohn/CNET
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Apple employees hand out iPhone order tickets in San Francisco.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Lowensohn/CNET
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The iPhone 4S wasn't the only thing for sale this morning. Enterprising line-goers in San Francisco were selling their spots.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Lowensohn/CNET
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iPhone 4S smartphones also waited in line near the Genius Bar at the San Francisco Apple Store.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Lowensohn/CNET
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Apple employees assist customers this morning at the downtown San Francisco Apple Store.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Lowensohn/CNET
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Inside the downtown San Francisco Apple Store.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Lowensohn/CNET
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Francisco Naranjo was the first in line at the Pasadena, Calif., Apple Store after arriving Wednesday night.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Roger Cheng/CNET
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The line stretched around the block at the Apple Store in Pasadena, Calif.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Roger Cheng/CNET
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Robert Melkonyan, a student at Glendale Community College, is the first to emerge from the Pasadena, Calif., Apple Store with his iPhone 4S (and a second for his brother). He says he had been saving up since January for the phones.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Roger Cheng/CNET
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Apple store greeters in Pasadena welcome the first wave of eager iPhone 4S buyers.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Roger Cheng/CNET
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Duncan Fraser, the first guy in line at the downtown San Francisco store, strolls out a little more than an hour after going in to buy the phone.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Lowensohn/CNET
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At downtown San Francisco's AT&T store, about a dozen and a half people stand in line around 9:30 a.m. PT today.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Josh Lowensohn/CNET
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A relatively short line forms at the Apple store located in the Americana shopping complex in Glendale.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Roger Cheng/CNET
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