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New York gets the iPhone 3G

At Apple and AT&T stores in Manhattan, eager first-day buyers of the iPhone 3G get their hands on Apple's upgraded smartphone Friday morning. But does it really take 10 to 15 minutes to get set up? CNET News' Caroline McCarthy and Marguerite Reardon report live from the bustling retail outlets. Refresh your page for the latest. Also, click here for CNET News' complete iPhone 3G coverage.

McCarthy, 7:08 a.m. ET at the Apple Store on Fifth Avenue: There's a HUGE gathering of cop cars across the street, lights flashing and all, but it doesn't appear to be iPhone-related.

 A company called Invisible Shield is attempting to placate the masses and get in some cheap marketing by tossing t-shirts into the crowd, which is now snaked around the sidewalk in front of the store.

A company called Invisible Shield is attempting to placate the masses and get in some cheap marketing by tossing t-shirts into the crowd, which is now snaked around the sidewalk in front of the store.

McCarthy, 7:10 a।m.: Apple store representatives are handing out bottled water, and the Waiting for Apples team is handing out apples. Looks like the cop cars are doing a routine drill. They're driving south down Fifth Avenue now.

McCarthy, 7:15 a.m.: The activists from Waiting for Apples have dismantled their "camp" to save up space.

McCarthy, 7:17 a.m.: Looks like Conde Nast is in on the promo stuff too. A whole lot of people are carrying copies of Wired.

McCarthy, 7:22 a.m.:Security is saying I don't look "credentialed" enough to be press, not letting me get a photo I wanted to. I just went around the other side, though. I think that he just wanted to exert authority and talk down to people.

McCarthy, 7:27 a.m.:News crews are everywhere. My impression is that the people waiting this year are even younger than last year, or maybe that's because I'm getting older. More dogs are in line than last year too. Greg Packer, last year's infamous first-in-line guy, is closer to No. 10 this year.

Early Show, including guerrilla marketers for Chik-Fil-A's "Eat mor chikin" campaign--and a cameo of CNET TV's own Natali Del Conte." height="404" width="540">

Across the Apple Store plaza, it looks as if people are gearing up for the taping of CBS' Early Show, including guerrilla marketers for Chik-Fil-A's "Eat mor chikin" campaign।


Reardon, 7:30 a.m. ET at the AT&T store on Upper West Side 95th and Broadway: With the exception of one guy, who camped out overnight in his sleeping bag, the AT&T store is relatively quiet. People didn't start showing up until around 4 a.m., store officials said.

Jeff Peidrahite, 35, lives just two blocks from the store. He arrived around 4 a.m. for the phone he said he's waited a year to buy. A current AT&T customer, Peidrahite said he is a huge Apple fan but wasn't going to buy the slower iPhone that came out last year. He also wasn't about to wait in the crazy line that started forming at Apple's 5th Avenue store last weekend.

"I'm a die-hard fan," he said. "But I wasn't going to camp out for it."

The bulk of the line at this location, which runs about halfway down the block, only arrived at the store around 7 a.m. For most, it seems like a smart strategy. The store has 60 phones, 20 of which are the 16GB models.

Apple store employees (in orange) hand out free SmartWater to people in line.

Apple store employees (in orange) hand out free SmartWater to people in line.

Natalie Green, 20, who arrived around 7:10 a.m. with her mother, lamented that she should have gotten up earlier. Green, who was toward the end of the line, most likely won't get a phone today. But she isn't deterred.

"I should have been here earlier," she said. "But it's not a big deal. If I don't get one today, I'll come back tomorrow."

McCarthy, 7:35 a.m.: I now have a cushy spot in the press section, though people keep asking me if I'm allowed to be standing here. I'm standing next to some local news crews who are wondering whether to prioritize coverage of the iPhone or of a murder in the Bronx.

McCarthy, 7:38 a.m.: Apple store representatives declined to tell me how many employees are on hand. It looks as if they will be doing a "gauntlet" of employees to usher people, as they did last year. Apple PR is having some issues dealing with foreign film crews who either don't speak much English or are claiming that they don't. They're trying to really pack everyone in.

McCarthy, 7:41 a.m.: There is massive cheering going on inside the Apple store. It sounds like the employees are revved up. There's a big press presence, but way fewer people are crammed into the press section than were there last year. There are fewer spectators too.

You can see here that a whole lot of Apple employees are squirreled away inside the underground store (in blue shirts).

You can see here that a whole lot of Apple employees are squirreled away inside the underground store (in blue shirts).

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