Crowds line up early for new iPhone - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Crowds line up early for new iPhone

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People were lining up early for the release of the new iPhone (WFSB) People were lining up early for the release of the new iPhone (WFSB)

Some die-hard fans of Apple are getting ready to start their day with a brand new iPhone.

Crowds have been waiting in line for the new gadget since early Friday morning at Westfarms Mall.

Despite some big expectations, the release does not come without some controversy.

The lines have shrunk since Thursday night because Apple announced that there will be no iPhone 7 Plus models available in stores, along with any other phones in the jet black finish.

"When I got here, there were a bunch of folks in line and somebody came out from the store and told us I guess there were no iphone pluses, and no jet black phones," said David Epstein, who was waiting in line. "And one by one people started to peel away and I found myself at the front."

One man who was fiftieth in line told Eyewitness News that when he heard the news, he went home to sleep and came back Friday morning.

The lines were also shorter this time around due to a pre-order trend.

"So you get online and you say i'm going to pick up this phone, and if you're really lucky and you wake up early like I did, you can be here at 8:00 picking up your phone," said Angelo Martucci of Bloomfield.

Martucci was part of that trend.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Sprint preorders of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus were up more than 375%.

Those who preordered the phone were able to get them Friday. The Apple Store is one of five at Westfarms Mall that prepared for the release, despite the lessened walk-in sales.

"It's always the best time of year for us, it's the busiest time. We look forward to new iPhones coming out, we get more customers. Apple has a big fan base so they start filing in and we get big sales again," said AT&T Assistant Store Manager Aroob Khan.

The biggest new feature is what's absent on the phones, a headphone jack. Instead of corded headphones, you can use wireless headsets like Apple's $160 Airpods.

"I think wireless is the way to go," Epstein said. "I mean, we all use wireless. I'm excited for the new earpods, airpods, or something. And I use wireless already, so it's no big deal."

Both new models are water resistant, have improved battery life and feature new cameras. The iPhone 7 Plus has a bigger 5.5 inch screen and two rear cameras that give two times optical zoom.

The new iPhone 7 will be priced starting at $649 for the 32 GB model. The larger iPhone 7 Plus is going for $769.

Last year, Apple sold a record 13 million iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models in the first three days. This year, the company will not disclose figures. Carriers like T-Mobile and Sprint have already said the new iPhones have broken their first-day preorder records.

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