Apple die-hards in Yonkers hungry for iPhone 5
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Hours after an online ordering frenzy, Apple fans at the company's brick-and-mortar Yonkers shop were split between two factions -- those who vowed to stick with their existing iPhones, and those who said they couldn't wait to get their hands on the newest device.
The latter lost some sleep -- and some are paying a steep premium -- to get the iPhone 5 by its official Sept. 21 release date. Apple began taking pre-orders for its newest phone at midnight and within eight hours, halted sales. Delivery dates, originally Sept. 21, have now been pushed back to Sept. 28.
Among those who placed midnight orders: 23-year-old Kenneth Mensah of Yonkers, who said his iPhone 5 is set to arrive on Sept. 21.
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"I'm definitely getting the upgrade as soon as it arrives on Friday, and I'm paying $800 for the upgrade," he said. (The new phone starts at $199 for those eligible for upgrades, but those who are not eligible pay full retail price.)
Mensah's friend, 18-year-old Albert Batista of the Bronx, was less impressed with Apple's newest gadget. He said he doesn't plan to upgrade, because "there's not a whole lot they can change from the iPhone 4."
Among the upgrades: A 4-inch "retina display" screen, increased from the 3.5-inch screens on the iPhone 4S and earlier models; a thinner, lighter form factor; mobile "ultra-broadband" 4G LTE capability, and an upgraded processor. The iPhone 5 also features a proprietary connector, dubbed Lightning, that requires an adapter for docks and mobile chargers used with previous versions of the smartphone.
While those features are must-have for die-hards, others said the new features aren't enticing enough to justify the cost of the upgrade.
Bronxville's Nora Gorman said a planned trip to Colorado will help her skip the line after an Apple store employee suggested electronics shops there might not run out of stock as quickly as their counterparts in New York. The phone goes on sale in stores on Sept. 21.
But for some, the shiny new iPhone -- and the hype surrounding it -- provided a temptation too great to resist. A visibly excited Sara Diallo of Manhattan was among them.
"I don't have it yet," she said, "but I will as soon as I cash my next paycheck."