“You can’t buy happiness — except with an iPhone”

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Apple users, start your search engines: after months of speculation and anticipation, the iPhone 5 went on sale Friday to long lines around the globe. The Apple Store at North and Clybourn opened its doors at 8 a.m. to customers eager to get their hands on the newest version of Apple’s smartphone.

The iPhone 5 was officially announced Sept. 12, and pre-orders went on sale Sept. 14. Initial pre-orders sold-out within one hour, and according to Apple, this was the fastest pre-order sale in the company’s 36-year history.

However, people unable to get a pre-order were still able to get their hands on the new phone. They just had to wait in line.

Customers began forming a line at the Lincoln Park store Thursday. Dan Zimmerman, a freshman at Loyola University, was the first in line. “I got here at noon, right after my test,” said Zimmerman. “I just get stoked for the new phone.”

According to Zimmerman, there was some confusion over where the beginning and the end was once the line started forming. “One guy even came and stood in front of me,” said Zimmerman. “It took some doing, but I finally convinced him I was in the front.”

The late night campers created an impromptu party. Some people brought beer and had pizza delivered.  Many had brought chairs, some had brought tents, but Waled Salih and Ibrahim Alya brought their own hookah.

“It’s going to be a long night,” said Salih. “This is the perfect way to relax while we wait.”

On the iPhone 5’s launch day, the Lincoln Park store opened an hour early to accommodate Apple fans. At its longest, the line stretched from the front of the building and zigzagged around the corner. Apple employees were passing out “tickets” that guaranteed the people in line a phone. The inside of the store was bustling with customers purchasing and setting up their new phones.

“It’s as big, if not bigger, than any of the other product launches,” said Dan Lubrano, an Apple manager at the store. “Couple that with the fastest pre-order sale in history, and it’s a big deal.”

iPhone enthusiast Keith Hampton said he loves his new iPhone. “I got in line around eight this morning,” said Hampton. “I got in and got my phone around 10. I was expecting to wait way more than two hours.”

As fast as the line was moving, some customers were not thrilled to be waiting at all.

“I have the iPhone 4 and it is time to upgrade, but I didn’t get the pre-order, so I had to come and wait,” said Steve Pauwels who was 30th in line. “I’m not giddy over it, but I needed an upgrade.”

“We got in line at four am,” said Chloe Clayborn as she opened her new iPhone. “But now it doesn’t even seem like we needed to be here that early.”

However, none of the potential iPhone purchasers were deterred when it started raining and gladly accepted when Apple employees offered them umbrellas and coffee. They weren’t deterred by the new phone’s high price either.

“I had an upgrade available on my account,” said Hampton. “It was $316.91 exactly with Apple Care plus, but it is definitely worth it.”

Zimmerman, who so patiently waited in line for 20 hours, did not have an upgrade available. “It will be around $650,” he said. “You can’t buy happiness, except with an iPhone.”