Los Angeles (CA) – Jonathan Mariano entered the room to the cheers of hundreds and the blinding flashes of cameras snapping away, but he isn’t a sports or movie star, he was the first person to buy an iPhone at the Grove mall in Los Angeles.
Update - We've updated the video. The first version was a bit choppy and had some interlacing problems.
TG Daily's Renee Eng reports from the Apple store inside the Los Angeles Grove Mall
Apple released the highly anticipated iPhone at 6 pm this past Friday. Across the U.S., 164 Apple retail stores closed at 2 pm to prepare for the historic launch. Hundreds of customers waited in line outside the Apple Store at the Grove mall, where we interviewed people in line and watched the surrounding media frenzy at the storefront. 27-year-old Mariano claimed the first spot in line at 4 a.m. and was greeted by cheering employees when Apple opened its doors at precisely 6 pm.
Although we were not able to interview Apple employees, we spoke to customers who were more than happy to share their thoughts on the new product. The iPhone's "cool factor" and the need to have it immediately ranked high on the list of reasons why customers chose to stand in line all day or at least check out the product for purchase over the weekend.
Many wanted to upgrade from their current phones while others were looking forward to the phone's features such as the touch screen and internet browsing capability. Also, the high price did not seem to deter anyone as many believed the iPhone's multiple features were worth the cost. One man even purchased iPhones for his entire family including his two young sons.
It seems the consumers were just as diverse as the reasons for purchasing the phone. Eager customers ranged from parents purchasing the iPhone as a gift to young professionals wanting to get their hands on the latest smartphone to hit the market. Others were diehard fans of Apple products and some were just hanging out, taking the whole event in stride and watching from a distance. As for those who cannot fathom waiting over 6 hours in line for a phone that starts at $499, customer Emmanuel Delcour counters, "This is a small price to pay for 'coolness'."
Check out our video for interviews and footage of the iPhone launch in Los Angeles.