Apple’s new iPhone4S flies off metro Detroit shelves

By 7:30 a.m. today, Frank Lievan estimated as many as 300 were in line at the Apple store at Somerset Collection in Troy to buy the new iPhone4S.

Lievan, 31, arrived early to score a new phone, which went on sale at 8 a.m. He said he was excited about the phone’s ability to use GPS, voice and calendar systems to remind you to do something — like call a friend when you arrive home at 4 p.m.

“It’s your own personal assistant now,” Lievan said.

Apple’s latest iPhone hit stores today after already breaking a record on first-day preorders. People who want one could buy it in the U.S. starting at 8 a.m. in each time zone.

Related story: Mark W. Smith: Which iPhone 4S should you get?

Friends Al Richardson and Mona Yee, both 52 and from Detroit, came together to Somerset to get the new phone. Each paid $316.94 to upgrade and buy the 32-gig phone.

Plus, Richardson said he likes that it has an S in the name in honor of Apple founder Steve Jobs, who died recently from pancreatic cancer.

“This one here’s kind of like the Steve Jobs memento, so it may end up being a collector’s item,” Richardson said.

Related story: Apple: iPhone 4S preorders break record

In California, television station NBC11 reported that Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak was first in line when he showed up Thursday at the Apple store in Los Gatos.

With the new device going on sale today, Wozniak told the station that even though he has two new phones on the way, he plans on staying overnight outside the store.

Wozniak was one of about five people who were in line around 2 p.m. Thursday at the store.

He told NBC11 that while he waited, he planned on getting caught up on his e-mail and chatting with fans.

At Somerset, the waiting line quickly diminished early today. Within an hour of opening the doors at 8 a.m., more than 30 Apple employees in blue T-shirts had processed so many people that there wasn’t a wait to pick up a new phone.

Julia Nicolaou, 32, of Commerce Township said she was anxious to see if her new 16G phone understands her voice.

“Especially since I’m from Russia and have an accent, so I’m excited to try it out,” Nicolaou said.

Of course, her children — ages 1, 3 and 5 — will know how to do more with the new tech gadget than she will at first, she said.

“If you want something, you hand it to them and they figure it out,” she said. “This is their favorite toy.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Article source: http://www.freep.com/article/20111014/BUSINESS07/111014010/1002/rss02

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