Apple's newest iPhone went on sale Friday, and while there weren't the throngs of buyers lined up for blocks in all locations as was the case for the iPhone 3G a year ago, there was plenty of activity as the 7:00 a.m. sales start drew near in each time zone.
And the first buyers now have their hands on the iPhone 3G S.
CNET's Caroline McCarthy and Marguerite Reardon are reporting live from several retail locations in Manhattan and say that the crowds grew throughout the morning. When the store opened, Apple Store employees were letting about 10 people at a time in to buy the iPhone and complete the activation. In the San Francisco Bay Area, Erica Ogg, Josh Lowensohn, and James Martin are also keeping tabs on iPhone sales.
It was a bit of a different story across the Atlantic. iFixit's Kyle Wiens flew to London for the opening and was amazed at the number of people lined up there.
"I knew that Apple puts their retail stores in high-traffic locations, but Regent Street is ridiculous! So many people, it's almost scary," said Wiens.
Meanwhile, the line at the Knoxville, Tenn., Apple Store seemed very orderly first thing this morning, according to TUAW.
Macworld reports a long line in Arlington, Va., as the crowd at the Apple Store there wound its way along the back of the mall. Overall, lines seem to be moving quite quickly throughout the U.S.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said north of the border, in Toronto. iLounge reports that Rogers Wireless is having difficulty processing orders, so Apple can only help customers with new activations at this point.
Nobody really expected the iPhone 3G S lines to be as chaotic as those for the first iPhone or for the iPhone 3G, but the volume of business has seemed respectable in the early going. Apple and AT&T did a lot of planning, allowing customers to pre-order the iPhone online in the hopes of avoiding any launch day disasters.
Piper Jaffray's senior analyst Gene Munster expects Apple will see 500,000 iPhones this weekend alone. The iPhone 3G S goes on sale in eight countries today including Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
CNET will keep you updated throughout the day on our live blog.
Updated 8:32 a.m. PDT: Added information from Arlington, Va. and Toronto.