The atmosphere in Aberdeen was decidedly more low-key than at Apple stores nationwide, but a group of about 10 people were waiting outside the AT&T store in the Lakewood Mall to buy the iPhone 5 on Friday morning.
Jordan Rose of Aberdeen showed up at 7:30 a.m. to make sure he was one of the first to get his hands on the gadget. He said he did not want to preorder the phone because it would have taken weeks to get.
Area Verizon and AT&T retailers each had iPhone 5 units available Friday morning. Once they sold out, customers were directed to order their phones.
Specific questions related to this story were referred by Aberdeen store managers and employees to corporate spokespeople.
Demand for the phone was greater than Apple's supply. While most who pre-ordered received the iPhone 5 on Friday, some might not get their phones until October, according to Apple.
Rose is a former Android user who got hooked on Apple after buying the iPhone 3GS.
"I wanted to wait until the iPhone 5 came out to get a new phone," he said. "The 3-D maps will be very cool, as well as the panoramic camera and bigger screen."
The iPhone 5 has a 4-inch display, while older models have a 3.5-inch display.
Audra Vogel of Aberdeen is eligible for a phone upgrade in February, but could not wait until then to get the iPhone 5. Her previous model of the iPhone broke after it was dropped, and she has been using an old Blackberry smartphone in the meantime.
"I am so used to the iPhone, and Blackberry has no fun apps," Vogel said.
She said she does not like using the Blackberry and leaves it in her purse. In comparison, she was always doing something on her iPhone, she said.
"It's just a fun phone," she said.
The increase in demand in Aberdeen mirrored the frenzy of sales Apple saw.
"They told me it seems like the demand is way up this year," Rose said of AT&T store employees.
Pre-orders of the iPhone 5 topped 2 million in the 24 hours after the product was announced, which more than doubled Apple's previous record.
The phone is Apple's first 4G LTE network-compatible phone.
Verizon Wireless users have 4G LTE coverage.
"We know a lot of customers that are Apple fans have been waiting for an iPhone that works on 4G LTE networks," said Karen Smith, a Verizon Wireless spokeswoman for the Great Plains region based in Minneapolis. "We're very pleased to have it in Aberdeen so people can take on the speed of the network and the processor in the device."
Smith said the network is 10 times faster and the more powerful processor in the new iPhone will make a big difference in the user experience.
AT&T has not rolled out 4G LTE coverage in the Aberdeen area yet. All Verizon Wireless users in South Dakota should see 4G LTE coverage no later than the end of 2013, Smith said.