Tech-heads camped overnight outside Apple electronics stores in US cities aiming to be the first to own an iPhone, marketed as the coolest gadget on the planet, when they go on sale Friday.
The breakthrough device, which puts a phone, web browser and music player in the palm of the hand, goes on sale at 6 p.m. (2200 GMT) Friday.
Late Thursday some 60 fans armed with umbrellas and rain gear -- and a handful with pup tents and lawn chairs -- braved the elements outside Apple's 5th Avenue store in New York city.
First in line was Greg Packer, 43, who arrived Monday at 5 a.m. -- a whole 109 hours before iPhones would be sold. He became an instant celebrity, and reporters from around the world flocked to interview the paunchy line sitter.
The iPhone "is the combination of everything: you get your iPod, you get your iPhone and you get your internet in one," gushed Packer.
"I want to be the first to get it, the first one to see what it?s like," he said, vowing to buy "at least two" iPhones.
Third in line was David Clayman, 21, who arrived at 2 p.m. on Monday with the explicit goal of using the media attention to advertise the Taproot Foundation, a small NGO he works at.
"Here the press is approaching you to get a story," said Clayman. "The best thing that one can do, is try to redirect some attention to a non-profit that is doing good work in the city."
Clayman said he plans to auction off for charity one of the three iPhones he plans to buy.
Meanwhile at the Apple store in Soho, in southern Manhattan, members of the local charity organization "Keep A Child Alive" took turns holding the first spot in line. They arrived at 7 a.m. Tuesday set on buying an iPhone and selling it at auction to help buy medicine for needy children in Africa.
"We're hoping to be the first in the world," said Johnny Vulkan, who rotates his spot in line with oPage: 1 2 Related medicine news :1
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