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Apple iPhone 5 Hits Stores, Causing Excitement And Possible Ripple Effect In Economy

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Mary Bubala joined WJZ in December 2003. She now anchors the 4-4:30...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) —  Apple fans are swarming stores around the world, including here in Maryland, to get their hands on the new iPhone 5.

Mary Bubala has more on how millions of sales could mean a major ripple effect on the U.S. economy.

The wait is over. Apple’s iPhone 5 went on sale Friday morning. Customers formed long lines outside stores across the world, including at the Annapolis Mall, where the line snaked around the store. Some customers started lining up just after 3 a.m. or earlier.

Some camped out.

“I had my chair, book, my iPad, watched some movies, streamed some video.  Good to go,” said Stacy Severtson, Annapolis. 

The iPhone features a bigger screen, lighter and slimmer frame, a faster processor and 4G connection.

“Not very patient to wait.  So when it’s out, it’s out. I need to buy it,” said another iPhone fan.

Photo Gallery: A History Of Apple’s iPhone 

“I am getting the new one because I am eligible for it. My husband is getting my old one, my son will get his old one. It just trickles down the line, but I always get the newest one,” said Severtson.

Apple took 2 million pre-orders for the new iPhone last week, and it’s on track to sell more than 10 million during its debut.

Some think the iPhone itself can boost the U.S. economy. Just look at accessory businesses getting a big bump in sales.

“The demand for them is very high. China has made them for quite a while,” said Mahi El-Frih, who sells iPhone accessories.

That’s just one of many businesses trying to grab a piece of the lucrative $20 billion per year smartphone accessory market.

“You get as much as you can possibly ready before Apple releases their data or the device. We then tweak what we have to tweak to make that design work with the new device,” said Chris Piedra, a Marware designer.

The iPhone 5 frenzy is off and running, at a pace never seen before for a consumer product.

“I set my alarm at 5. I made sure I was here to get my iPhone 5 and I am very happy and I am going to cherish this,” said Annapolis resident Nia Gaines.

There are some bugs with the iPhone’s mapping system, but that doesn’t seem to stop people from lining up.

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