If you’re planning on waiting in line for an iPhone 5 tomorrow, be warned: judging by the numbers of people already waiting outside some of the big Apple Stores, the iPhone 5 launch is looking like it’s going to be an absolute zoo. There have never been this many people in line this far ahead of an official Apple product launch, ever. And Apple themselves anticipate long lines outside of their stores “all day long, into the evening.”
With 16 hours to launch in New York City, we’re hearing that the 5th Avenue Apple Store already has thirty five people waiting in line, with more joining every hour. And according to reports, the Palo Alto, California Apple Store already has 40 people in line, despite the fact that the iPhone 5 won’t go on sale for another twenty hours.
In Australia, it’s even more bonkers. Here’s a picture the iFixIt guys put up of an Apple Store line in Australia. The iPhone 5 launches there in under two hours, but the line goes around the block and seemingly has over a hundred people in it.
For the third-gen iPad launch in March, long lines cleared up in less than an hour in most locations, but Apple isn’t optimistic that the same will be true this year. A report out of Hawaiit about the lines at the Royal Hawaiian Apple Store suggests that Apple expects “lines all day long, into the evening” for the iPhone 5 launch.
We know we just wrote something saying that showing up four hours early would probably be sufficient to get yourself an iPhone 5, and we still think that’s probably true, but we have no idea how much stock Apple has. It’s an estimate based upon waiting in line for iPhones in years past, and this year seems to be a whole new ballgame. We’ve never seen this many people lined up this early before.
If you intend on waiting in line for an iPhone 5 tomorrow, be warned: it’s going to be an absolute madhouse. Make sure to check out our guide for advice on how to keep your sanity.