The line of people who waited overnight at Seattle's University Village for an iPhone 5 snaked through the parking lot and wrapped around buildings.
But to them, it's worth it. For Otto, the man who will get the iPhone 5 first at U-Village, it was his fifth time being first in line for an Apple product.
"I've got to have the latest and greatest gadgets," he said. "They've all got their own purpose depending on what I'm using them for."
The iPhone 5 is thinner, lighter, has a taller screen, faster processor, updated software and can work on faster "fourth generation" mobile networks. The handset has become a hot seller despite initial lukewarm reviews and new map software that is glitch prone.
The smartphone went on sale in the U.S. and Canada hours after its launch in Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Britain, France and Germany. It will launch in 22 more countries a week later.
Apple received 2 million orders in the first 24 hours of announcing its release date, more than twice the number for the iPhone 4S in the same period when that phone launched a year ago.
Analysts have estimated Apple will ship as many as 10 million of the new iPhones by the end of September.
"As of yet there's nothing that can take me away from my iPhone," said Otto, as he revealed his Apple tattoo on his forearm.
"I've drank the KoolAid!" he laughed.