I experienced my first iPhone launch today. It was exhilarating. Our adventure started at approximately 6PM on Thursday evening, about an hour before the local Verizon store closed for business. My boyfriend arrived at that time and I joined him around 7PM after I picked up some dinner for us. Our plan was to be the first two customers in the iPhone 5 line. We decided to load up our Mercury Mountaineer with blankets and pillows so that we could rest throughout the night while keeping watch on our coveted spots in line. As I arrived, the customer who was to be #3, joined us in line.

The three of us were alone for quite some time. The occasional news crew would stop by for a live shot and an attempted interview, but we were camera-shy and stayed in our makeshift tent. A pizza joined us around midnight when customer #4, a friend of #3, joined the line.

Having worked a full day prior to the campout, I started falling asleep around 10:30PM. Sleep was found off and on throughout the night. We had anticipated the weather being cooler than it was, but were pleasantly surprised by warmer temperatures. In fact, there were many times that we found ourselves too warm.

By 4:30AM, the news crews showed up to get footage of the event and to hopefully get their interview with the first customers in line. We politely declined the interview and hid in the car. We hoped the cameras would fade away, but they stayed with us until the store opened at 8AM.

We decided that the interview would be much better used here on MacSources for our reading audience.

Q: Why do you want the iPhone 5?
A:  Because it’s the newest Apple product and we love Apple.

Q: Have you been involved in a launch before?
A:  I have not, but my boyfriend has. He has been to every iPhone launch either at a Verizon or AT&T store or an Apple retail store.

Q: Why did you want to wait in line all night?
A:  Because we were unsure about getting the preordered phone on time or at all. We made the decision based on previous launches and the underestimated amounts that went to retailers.

Q: What makes you feel like this is better?
A:  The design is completely new on the iPhone 5 and the processor is brand new and much faster than the previous model.

Q: What aspects are you interested in the most?
A:  The speed of the new processor and the new Apple EarPods.

At 8AM, the doors opened and the Verizon representative we had spoken to about our account, took care of our order. We were able to trade-in our iPhone 4S’s for a credit on the account. Even though you might take a small hit on the value of the phone, I would recommend this route as it is guaranteed money on your account.

Our Verizon experience was smooth and un-complicated. The rep took care of us quickly and efficiently. Once our phones were purchased, their staff activated them and we were on our way.

The wait was well worth it. Not only was it a fun experience, but we also ended up with great Apple products.

So how is the phone? It’s awesome. I can confirm it is as light as expected. At 3.95 ounces, it is the lightest phone Apple has created. It is noticeably lighter than the 4S and since I still have one in my possession, I did a side-by-side of a 3GS, too. MUCH lighter. This is probably one of the greatest new features of the iPhone 5.

Included in the box are the state-of-the-art designed EarPods. These are the replacement for the Apple EarBuds. Apple spent several years in research on the new headphones and it shows. The EarPods are lightweight, comfortable to wear and have outstanding sound quality. The bass is punchy and the vocals come through nice and clear. If you don’t plan on purchasing the iPhone 5, I would highly recommend making a small purchase of the EarPods. They retail for $29.00 through Apple and are a definite upgrade from the Apple EarBuds.

The iPhone 5 is blazing fast and I noticed a difference in response time immediately. Another one of my favorite features is of course, the larger screen. The phone is the same width as previous models, but it is 4.87 inches high, which is 0.37 inches longer than the iPhone 4S. The longer screen allows for an additional row of apps and just more screen real estate in general. I really enjoy this feature when viewing email. I have been utilizing my iPhone for a lot of business recently and having more screen to view it makes work much easier.

I have heard that in many cities the crowds become unruly and ruthless when waiting in line for Apple launches. We were lucky because we had a friendly crowd. If you happen to live in a community similar to ours, I would recommend camping out over preordering. There are just too many factors that could go wrong and why take the chance if you don’t have to.

The iPhone retails for $199, $299 or $399 for the 16GB, 32GB or 64GB models respectively. That price is, of course, with a two-year contract.