Swarm descends on Apple iPhone 5 launch

Jessica Mellow waited in line for more than 180 hours — that’s eight straight days — for an iPhone 5. She was woken up by cops, “showered” in a torrential downpour, and watched two taxis collide right in front of the growing crowd outside Apple’s gleaming retail cube on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue.

On Friday morning, Apple finally delivered the prize she and thousands of line-sitters around the world were after. The iPhone 5 went on sale at 8 a.m. local time on Friday in the U.S., Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and the UK.

Mellow among the first to snag a phone at her Apple outpost. The No. 1 person in line — Hazem Sayed, who arrived more than a week ago to promote his social media startup — said the wait “was definitely worth it.”

The iPhone 5 is virtually guaranteed to be Apple’s all-time bestseller. Apple took more than 2 million pre-orders in the first 24 hours, shattering last year’s iPhone 4S record, and analysts forecast that it will sell as many as 10 million units by Monday morning.

Apple’s early inventory is already sold out: Online orders placed now won’t ship for three to four weeks.

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