The iPhone 5 drops at 8 a.m. sharp on Friday. By Thursday night there were dozens of apple fanatics waiting outdoors, in their cars, and on sidewalks anxiously hoping to get their hands on the newly modified version of the wildly popular smart phone.
AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint stores across the Capital Region confirmed that they will have the phones for sale beginning on Friday.
Most of the local mobile phone stores said they will have extra staff on hand to help deal with the crowds.
Joe Pinkans is AT&T's Director of Sales for Eastern Upstate New York. He says the AT&T store on Central Avenue in Colonie is stocked and ready for Friday's much anticipated launch of the iPhone 5.
Pinkans said, "We're really excited about it and we can't wait for all of our customers to come on in tomorrow morning and talk to our staff. We're really looking forward to it. It's going to be great."
The Retail Sales Director explains how the process will work on Friday morning.
"We open up our doors tomorrow at 8 a.m. and we are expecting robust crowds and a lot of excitement. We're internally extremely excited. We know our customers are excited, and we're expecting to see quite a crowd tomorrow morning and tonight," he said.
Pinkans went on to say, "Tomorrow is first come, first served basis. We're going to have inventory in stock, I cannot speak to specific levels, but I would suggest that everyone that wants to come on down, come on down early, and wait in line."
And 'waiting in line,' at an AT&T store is just what we found three people doing outside the Niskayuna location.
Timika Jones of Albany said, "We figured that we'd have better luck here because more people go to the Apple Store than around here, because that's what happened last year, a lot of people went to the Apple Store."
Her friend Raymond Taylor of Schenectady said, "We're waiting for the iPhone 5, because we figured there would be a lot of people later, and we didn't want to show up at like three in the morning, and then everything would be crowded."
Taylor said, "And we had a lot of issues trying to pre-order it, you know? The waits are three to four weeks so, you know, I'd rather, first come, first served, so I can be first, of course."
And statements like that are music to Pinkans' ears.
The AT&T Retail Sales Manager said, "There are no real words to describe the excitement of an iPhone launch. I've been through several myself, and each year gets better and better. So we're really looking forward to tomorrow."
So, we asked the iPhone fanatics waiting in line what all of the buzz is about.
Carter Gulli of Clifton Park said, "I'm really excited about the big screen, the new back to it. It looks really beautiful. And the IOS 6 software with it too."
Taylor said, "I like that it's a bigger screen, that it's twice as fast."
But the iPhone 5 is barely a tough sell for this die hard Apple crew.
Not surprisingly, each of the Apple fanatics we spoke with already had a long history with the product line.
Gulli said, "I got my iPhone, my first one back when I was 15-years-old. I had the iPhone 3GS, and I've always had one since, and I don't think that will change."
Jones said, "I waited in line for the iPhone 4S last year, and I just really wanted a new one when I heard about the iPhone 5."
And thanks to her brother, and Apple's latest launch, this week has been second to none for 24-year-old Jones.
"I'm more happy than anything. I mean nothing can disappoint me right now. I was diagnosed with cancer in March of 2012, and my older brother said once I get better, he promised me he'd take me to a Yankees game. So I got that done yesterday, and then now I'm psyched to get the new iPhone," the brave Lymphoma survivor said.
"It just makes me sad when little children walk by, and snicker at my bald head. That upsets me more than anything. But when I heard about the new iPhone I got excited. I'm hoping to upgrade to the 64 gig phone. Right now I have a 32 (gig). I just hope they have the 64 left," she said.