iPhone 5 release: Crowds finally get their hands on the new iPhone

WELLINGTON, Fla. -- A small crowd hunkered down outside the AT&T store on State Road 7 Friday morning, in anticipation of the iPhone 5 release.

Several people sat in lawn chairs outside the store, which opened an hour early at 8:00 a.m. to unveil the new phone.

AT&T officials say pre-sale numbers for the iPhone 5 set record highs.

Many Treasure Coast residents lined up outside phone stores early Friday as well, ready to buy the latest Apple -- - now available in U.S. stores and in eight other countries.

"I just had to have the new phone," said Jordan Nichols, 19, an Indian River State College student, who was first in a line of seven at 5:25 a.m. at Verizon on St. Lucie West Boulevard in Port St. Lucie.

He walked away shortly after 8 a.m., new phone in hand and a smile on his face.

He said his mom woke him at 4:45 a.m. so he could get to the store early. He has the iPhone 4S, which he plans to sell after he picks up his new phone.

In Stuart, 12 people were in line at 7:30 a.m. at the Verizon Wireless store on U.S. 1 just north of Monterey Road.

First there was Jacob Perez, 35, who said he didn't think he'd be the first in line.

"Busy day, trying to get done early," Perez, a property manager, said when asked why he was there so early.

Inside the Stuart Verizon Wireless store as customers browsed and Toto's "Africa" played in the background, manager Lori Klangwald said lines were expected.

"We did have a lot of success with the online pre-orders and also instore pre-orders, so seeing a line outside in addition to the success of the pre-orders is fantastic," she said.

Klangwald said she didn't have any numbers for iPhone 5 pre-orders. Still, she said numbers keep climbing with each new iPhone release.

"iPhone launch day, it's always a great time, it's always a great environment, good energy," Klangwald said. "Everyone seems happy."

Perez's favorite thing abut the iPhone is it's reliability.

"It never crashes," he said.

He said he has an iPhone 4 that he plans to sell.

By 7:30 a.m., about a dozen folks stood or sat behind Perez. Just before 8 a.m., the line was up to about 20.

Twice as many people were lined up at the AT&T store in Vero Beach, three of whom began their wait at 10 p.m. Thursday. No one else showed up until 4:30 a.m.

"We played Frisbee for part of the time in the parking lot," said Chris Cronin, 23. "I also watched a few movies on Netflix on my phone."

A barista from Starbucks, within the same shopping plaza, walked to the front of the line at the store holding two containers of coffee about 7:55 a.m.

When the store opened at 8 a.m., customers consumed the coffee as they purchased their new phones.

Many other people across the counties have already pre-ordered their new phones.

Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers and the Associated Press contributed to this report

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