Sept. 21--Friday was the sixth time Apple released an iPhone, but Tulsans still lined up outside stores across the city to get them.
As usual, the biggest gathering by far was at the Apple Store in Woodland Hills Mall, where well over 150 people formed a line stretching out the distant mall doors to pick up either the more advanced iPhone 5S or the less expensive, more colorful iPhone 5C at the stroke of 8 a.m.
The first customer in line was Amanda Gammill, who said she arrived at 7:15 p.m. Thursday.
Gammill, like many people at the store, wanted to ensure she was able to get the right combination of color and storage, especially since Apple Inc. didn't allow pre-orders of the 5S. The company now allows people to reserve the 5S online.
For Gammill, the choice of a gold phone was personal.
"Ryder Herring passed away in March of a brain tumor, and we wanted to get a gold iPhone to remember him by," she said. "Gold is the color chosen to honor those with childhood cancer, and we heard Apple was low on gold phones."
Gammill said she and her husband, Jonathon, passed the night outside the mall watching TV shows via Netflix on their iPad and trading turns running to nearby spots for restroom breaks.
By 7:15 a.m., Apple employees were telling customers in line that the store was out of the gold and silver iPhone 5S and had only the gray model left.
That news derailed the plans of Josh Barrow, who wanted to pick up a colorful phone but, at 7:15 a.m., arrived too late.
"I set my alarm for 2:30 a.m. and I slept right through it," he said.
The AT&T store at Tulsa Hills Shopping Center attracted a line of more than three dozen customers. Michael Reed, who arrived at 6 a.m. and was about 20 people back, said he was surprised to see the line, but he felt he was overdue for an upgrade.
"I've got a 3G iPhone," he said. "It's a collectors item by now."
The iPhone 5C, an altered version of the now-discontinued iPhone 5 that features multiple colors to choose from, starts at $99 with a two-year contract.
Apple's new flagship iPhone, the 5S, features a fingerprint sensor, auto-adjusting two-toned camera flash, a faster processor and more. It starts at $199 with a two-year contract.
Other carriers and stores carrying the iPhone include Best Buy, Walmart, Radio Shack, Target, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon and U.S. Cellular.
Robert Evatt 918-581-8447