Apple Store awaits Friday iPhone frenzy

The anticipated ease and comfort of the iPhone has people across the country eager to wait all day in uncomfortable places as buzz and hype continue to whip up a consumer frenzy.

Apple Stores will close at 2 p.m. to mentally, physically and emotionally prepare for the 6 p.m. reopening when the new device goes on sale. Select AT&T stores — the wireless carrier the iPhone will use — will close at 4:30 p.m. and reopen at 6 p.m. to begin sales of the phones.

With reports of people beginning to camp out in New York City, the Apple Store in San Francisco — which didn't have a line yesterday — is now startting to accumulate a line of hopeful iPhone purchasers. View Examiner's slideshow: iPhone Frenzy: Still Waiting

The 4.8-ounce phone — if you can call it that — has wireless Internet access, a camera, iTunes, YouTube-video-watching capability and weather information for any hometown, all packaged under a touch screen that has many weak in the knees.

Micky and Bob Powell, San Francisco residents who stopped in at the Apple Store in Burlingame, said they were attracted to the “bells and whistles” and the ease with which the user could navigate the functions.

“It is a phone but it does so much more,” Bob Powell said. “I think it’s the touch screen,” he added.

They equated the hysteria with that from their youth when televisons eclipsed radios in popularity.

Paul Nguyen, a 27-year-old technology enthusiast, said he could not wait in line Friday for a phone, but might wait until the hype dies down before buying one this summer.

“I would like to — one thing is work,” Nguyen said of camping out for the product. He said he wouldn’t give up much of anything to get his hands on a phone this weekend.

“I wouldn’t give up a day’s worth of work, my job or my right lung,” he said.

dsmith@examiner.com

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