"I did it last time, too," Rivera, 40, a stay-at-home mom from Howard Beach, said, recalling her 13-hour wait a year ago for the iPhone 4. "I think the Apple products are worth it."
Apple's new smartphone went on sale across the United States and Canada on Friday morning, after launching in several countries, including Australia, Japan, Britain, France and Germany. It is scheduled to launch in 22 more countries next week.
The new iPhones are sleeker and lighter than their predecessors, with a taller display screen and a faster processor.
Apple said it took more than 2 million preorders for the iPhone 5 in the first 24 hours, shattering last year's iPhone 4S record. Analysts predict Apple will sell as many as 10 million units by Monday.
Junior Bailey, 24, of Queens, also bought three of the new phones at the Apple Store in Manhasset. He was first in line and had waited outdoors, starting at 4 a.m. Thursday.
"More data, faster, just better," said Bailey, a regional warehouse manager for a clothing company.
"I got one for my boss and his wife, too," said Bailey, who expected to surprise his supervisor with the phones on his weeklong business trip.
Bailey said his friend, Leal Donovan, 26, also of Queens, waited in line with him to help out, though Donovan doesn't want to replace his existing iPhone 4S. As they waited in often chilly weather, they ordered takeout food and held each other's place in line for bathroom breaks.
By 8 a.m. Friday, Bailey said, there were more than 250 people in line. With AP