Wait's over for some iPhone 5 buyers on LI

Shoppers line up and purchase Apples latest version of the iPhone at the Apple store in Manhasset. Videojournalist: Jim Staubitser

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Tina Rivera waited in line for 13 hours to get three new Apple iPhone 5 smartphones and didn't mind one bit.

"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 fourth-generation smartphone went on sale across the United States and Canada 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.

Rivera was first in line at the Apple Store in Roosevelt Field in East Garden City and bought three of the sleeker, lighter smartphones with a taller display screen and faster, more powerful processor.

She purchased three, as per her phone contract; one will be hers, and the other two will go to her sons, ages 23 and 12.

"I got it for the pictures," she said, "but I can't tell you how it works yet. I'm trying to take a nap. Call me back in two hours, and I'll let you know."

The iPhone 5 is virtually guaranteed to be Apple's all-time bestseller, according to wire reports and business analysts. Apple said it took more than 2 million preorders 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.

Bailey bought one phone for himself, and two were in his luggage later that morning as he awaited a flight from LaGuardia Airport to Hong Kong.

"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, so he could get three phones (Bailey purchased two, per his phone contract; Donovan one).

As they waited in often chilly weather, they ordered takeout food and held each other's place in line for bathroom breaks and to take naps in Donovan's car.

By 8 a.m. Friday, there were more than 250 people in line, said Bailey, who appreciated the help of his friend.

Donovan agreed: "He's a lucky man."

Bailey did fill up Donovan's gas tank to the tune of $40, and that was enough. No need for Bailey to take him out for dinner or provide any other gift. It's what friends do, Donovan said.

As for himself, he's not quite ready for an iPhone 5. He got the iPhone 4S recently, and it's fine by him.

"It does all the things the new one does, so I didn't see the need," Donovan said.

With The Associated Press

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