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Welcome to the future: iPhone 7 launch brings crowds to Galleria

It was 5:15 a.m. Friday when Karla Aceves and dad Carlos of Williamsville arrived at the Walden Galleria.

But even at that early hour, they found a dozen people ahead of them, waiting to get their hands on the iPhone 7, which launches today.

They had never waited in line for a phone launch before, but were afraid that if they didn’t get to the Apple store early, the phones would sell out, as they almost always do. They needn’t have worried - about half the line left when they found out the store did not have iPhone 7 Plus in stock except for customers who had pre-ordered it.

By 8:45 a.m., there were about 60 people in two lines outside the store, with another 60 people inside. Employees asked customers questions and brought them in at timed intervals. A woman with bright, orange and pink ombre hair offered free coffee, water and snacks from a cart.

Janae Longo of West Seneca works on a cruise ship. She’ll be leaving in a few days and needs to get her phone upgraded before she’s stuck in the middle of the ocean for the next several months. She didn’t want to chance being stranded without her music and other creature comforts.

And then there are the other cool features.

“I want to tap my earbuds to control them and feel like I’m in the future,” she said.

Emone Bradley doesn’t need an upgrade; she wants an upgrade. She has waited in line for phone launches twice before, but is extra excited about this one with all the iPhone 7’s new features.

“It’s the next thing poppin’. You want to be the first person to have the iPhone 7,” she said. “It’s like a whole new phone.”

So what’s the big deal with the latest iPhone iteration? Well, the iPhone7 is water resistant—a big selling point for anyone who has ever tried and failed to rescue their $600 phone in a bowl of dry rice. It is also dust resistant and more durable. It has no headphone jack which, though controversial, makes room for stereo speakers.  It has a new operating system, a more powerful processor and, on the 7 Plus, dual cameras.


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