More than 200 people waited in line at five Westfarms stores Thursday evening into Friday morning to obtain one of the new Apple 5s and 5c iPhones.
The bulk of the line - some 200 people - was in front of the Apple Store, which had the first person queue up around 8 p.m. Thursday, according to Westfarms spokeswoman Amanda Sirica. The line grew incrementally after that.
“Any time we have an Apple product launch, it’s an exciting time for us at Westfarms,” Sirica said.
Westfarms typically closes its doors around 9:30 p.m., Sirica said. But, to accommodate the excitement and anticipation of the new iPhones, Westfarms remained open throughout the night for people to remain in line.
“You saw a lot of people in folding chairs and with laptops and blankets,” Sirica said. “It was a fun vibe. People were excited.”
Apple Store employees came out at 6 a.m. to address the crowd and hand out tickets, Sirica said. People who received a ticket - what was dubbed “The Golden Ticket” - were able to purchase new products, Sirica said.
The Apple Store then opened at 8 a.m., two hours early, Sirica said.
The most popular item appeared to be the gold and silver versions of the iPhone 5s, which was selling at $199 with a 2-year contract. The 5s comes with a 64-bit chip, an upgraded camera that can, among other things, take video in slow-motion, and a fingerprint-reading security device.
The gold 5s sold out quickly, while the silver version was not far behind, Sirica said.
The 5c sells for $99 with a 2-year contract and is essentially an iPhone 5s, only it comes in a plastic casing instead of a metal one. It also comes in five different colors.Four other stores in the Westfarms mall - Verizon Wireless, Sprint, T-Mobile and the AT&T Experience Store - carry the iPhone. About 25 people lined up in front of the AT&T Experience Store this morning, Sirica said. Fewer people lined up in front of the other stores, Sirica said.