Apple iPhone 5: With Pre-Orders Over, Brace for Long (And We Mean Long) Lines

Apple says pre-orders of the much-anticipated iPhone 5 exceeded 2 million in 24 hours, more than double the iPhone 4s record of 1 million. And now that the pre-order frenzy has passed, expect long, long lines in front of Apple and carriers’ retail stores, analysts are telling various media outlets.

One interesting aspect will be the outcome of pre-orders. Apple was not expecting so many. "Demand for iPhone 5 exceeds the initial supply," the company said in a Sept. 17 press release.  Apple intends to make good on as many of those orders as possible on Sept. 21 but noted that "many are scheduled to be delivered in October."

That’s despite the fact that Apple will start selling the iPhone 5 in retail stores on Friday. To that point, some folks already have been camping out in front of the Apple store since last Thursday.

"If we just wanted the phone we could have ordered it online," 27-year-old Jessica Mellow told USA Today on Monday. "It’s more about camping out. It’s a cool experience. Meeting new people."

Analysts predict the iPhone 5 to be sold out in retail locations by Sunday. And lines between now and then will only be fit for the patient and enduring.

"It will be a madhouse," Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster told USA Today.

For Apple itself, the iPhone 5 could prove a record-breaking financial pay-off.

"The pace of this iPhone 5 roll-out is the fastest in the iPhone’s history and points to a big December quarter," Barclays analyst Ben Reitzes told Reuters.

So what’s different about the new iPhone? Not a whole lot, really. The industrial design remains the same, according to Slate Magazine, but there’s increased processor power and a bigger screen. The device weighs a bit less than its predecessors and reportedly has less battery life because it accommodates faster network speeds.

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