With the excitement of winning a championship ring, Apple fans raced into the Michigan Avenue store Friday to claim their long-awaited prize: the new iPhone 5.
"I felt like LeBron James or Kobe Bryant walking in there," said Julian Diggs, first in line thanks to a 3:30 p.m. Tuesday arrival outside the store.
"I feel excellent! I feel so much power in my hand right now," said Nathan Chinn, also among the first to buy the phone. "It was more than worth it. I should've gotten here sooner."
Fans braved on-and-off rain and unseasonable cold the last few days to camp outside and wait for the phone's Friday launch. Many of them are Apple loyalists, but for Elise Grosso, it's her first foray into the iPhone frenzy.
"I don't think that having an iPhone makes me any cooler," Grosso said, "but today, for sure, I'm pretty cool."
It's also a first for Chris Burrichter, who recently landed his first job.
"I'm going to be a lawyer," he said, "so I need to be able to fire off emails."
What does the iPhone 5 have over previous versions? Joshua Davis from Abt Electronics said the processor, graphics and camera are his top three.
"This third view is just so cool, being able to navigate through different cities and see different angles," Davis said. "You can zoom into street level if you wanted to."
Another plus is how light the iPhone feels. Many said Friday it's so light you barely feel like you have anything in your hand. One customer proved that the hard way by dropping his new phone just seconds after stepping out of the store.
Fortunately the iPhone survived.
"Apple's the best," said Darien Hutchinson. "We thank you Apple."