Apple CEO Tim Cook says consumer demand for new iPhones has been "staggering" and "hard to comprehend." That helped the company report record-smashing earnings for its latest quarter and primed its stock for a rally Wednesday.
WESTLAKE, Ohio - "It's revolutionary. Everything they do is bigger and better than everyone else so I had to be the first," said RJ Wagner, of Parma.
He's spending the night in a fold-up camping chair to be the first customer at Crocker Park's Apple Store at 8 a.m. Friday. That's when Apple is launching the release of their latest product, the iPhone 5.
Wagner said he was the first to park himself at the entrance at about 5 p.m. Thursday. But unlike in New York City where fans began camping as early as Tuesday, in Westlake, Wagner was only one of three guys to hold their places in line Thursday night.
Still Wagner said he's just as excited.
"I ran straight here after work."
When asked why he didn't just pre-order his phone, the Parma resident said, "I went to pre-order it and I think they got backed-up right away and now I don't think they're coming until November and I have to have it on the first day."
As NewsChannel5 talked with Wagner, the line slowly started to grow. Another young gentleman unpacked two folding chairs and made himself comfortable for the night. But unlike Wagner, Ryan Harvey is a little more weathered.
"This is my fourth iPhone waiting," said Harvey. He was a little reluctant to give-up just exactly what his Apple experience was, but Harvey was just as excited to talk about the new product.
"There's no secret, you just have to get here on time and usually when you make friends with everyone else, usually they're pretty cool, if you need to go to the bathroom or need to go to your car. Just don't go away for too long... But usually you become friends with everyone and everyone had a good time."
That was certainly the case outside of the Apple Store Thursday. New specs, how many gigs they use and what apps they have was the conversation as the group of now about four guys waited.
The Crocker Park Apple Store is tight-lipped on how phones they will have available at 8 a.m., nor are they saying what they have in-store for the launch. Harvey said sometimes free products are given as a prize for being some of the first in line.
A Westlake Apple employee said over the phone that those who are not able to walk away with an iPhone5 will have the opportunity to order one. However, the company is already inundated with orders when iPhone5 pre-orders became available last week. Some customers who paid for the pre-order may not be able to receive the new phone until October.
All the more reason to wait in line, according to Harvey and Wagner.
"The best part is when you actually get the phone and they turn it on for you and they say, 'This is your iPhone.' They hand it over and that's probably the best. Waiting all this time makes it actually worth it," Harvey said.
The Crocker Park Apple Store's normal customer hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., but Wagner said he was already told by employees they will be able to enter at 8 a.m.
The small group got cheers from customers walking in and out of the store Thursday night. Both said we'll be able to return and see for ourselves just exactly why they are so excited on Friday morning.
"I have to work tomorrow, but it's no big deal. I can live off of a few hours of sleep," said Harvey.
As of 5 a.m. Friday morning, about 40 people were in line outside of the Apple Store, eagerly awaiting the new smartphone.
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