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Apple fans turn out for new iPhone — again

Consumers, media show up in force on Friday at retailers offering the iPhone 5.
by Don Mecoy Modified: September 21, 2012 at 10:21 pm •  Published: September 21, 2012

Willing to wait

Ryan Stafford, AT&T sales director for the region that includes Oklahoma, said customers seeking iPhones lined up outside all of AT&T's 32 Oklahoma stores on Friday. At many stores, people began lining up on Thursday afternoon, Stafford said.

“We've done this six times before (with Apple products),” Stafford said. “Every time we have customers who chose to come out the night before and wait.”

AT&T had “pretty decent inventory” of the new iPhones, Stafford said, and was expecting more, but smaller, shipments of the devices over the weekend. Customers also can order the phone in stores and wait for the device to be shipped, although that takes two to three weeks, he said.

Apple sold 2 million iPhone 5's online before cutting off pre-orders after 24 hours. That's double the record of 1 million early, online sales it achieved in one day with the iPhone 4.

An analyst who follows Apple predicted consumers might buy the 8 million iPhone 5's this weekend based on long lines at stores in New York, Boston and Minneapolis.

The new phone is thinner and lighter and offers a larger screen.

The cost ranges from $199 to $399 with a two-year contract with a wireless provider.