IT’S an arrival greeted with all the fervour of a royal baby – and they queued up for hours in Tamworth yesterday for a mere glimpse.
Technology buffs, Apple afficionados and the just-plain-curious lined up outside local phone stores for the release of the iPhone 5s, which boasts a fingerprint scanner and a camera capable of snapping 10 photos a second.
And yes – it’s also capable of making phone calls.
Tamworth woman Nadine Yates was the first customer in the doors of the Telstra Shop in Peel St, after braving the early morning chill from 5 o’clock.
“This is my third iPhone and I just love them,” Ms Yates said.
“I’m on my phone all the time and I just think they’re awesome.”
Telstra Tamworth marketing manager Chris White said while the release didn’t attract the same hype as the iPhone 5, it still created a buzz locally.
“I turned up at 6am and there were already three people waiting at the door,” Mr White said.
“The numbers were down on the last release, but the excitement is still there.”
He said “about a dozen” phones were sold in the opening minutes of trade.
The 5s has weathered a backlash from critics, who claim it offers little difference to its predecessor.
“I think we probably have come to a point where smart-phone makers are struggling to innovate,” Mr White said.
“But so many people just love the Apple products. They see it as a fashion accessory and a status symbol.
“Certainly a lot of the people we saw in the store this morning were the same people who were here when the iPhone 5 was released.”