The iPhone X officially hit stores eight a.m. Friday, but for some Edmontonians the wait began nearly 24 hours before.
The official line up started at 6 p.m. Thursday, but—fearing low stock— there were already about 50 people in line before midnight on Friday.
Robert Michael was first. He headed to West Edmonton Mall Thursday morning and was in line outside the Apple store by noon.
“It’s the first time I’ve waited in a line like this,” Michael said.
“But I knew the demand was so high and stock was so low I didn’t want to risk coming here and stand in line all night and walk away without a phone.”
However, Michael was guaranteed to go home with at least one iPhone in hand.
“I actually have an iPhone 8 Plus right now and it’s only a month and a half old,” he admitted. “I’m a bit of a tech-geek. It’s the first time we’ve seen significant innovation out of Apple since the iPhone 6 or the iPhone 6 Plus release.”
The iPhone X features wireless charging, an infrared camera and special hardware for facial recognition, which will replace the fingerprint sensor for unlocking the phone. The home button found on previous iPhones is also gone, and users will instead tap the device to wake it up.
For Michael, the allure was not to be the first to have the phone — it was the technology behind it.
“If I want the tech, I’ll treat myself and I’ll get it,” Michael said. “I knew if I didn’t get the phone on launch day, I would risk potentially having to wait until February or March next year.”
WATCH: The iPhone X has many new features including a new screen, no home button and 3D emojis.
A few spots in line behind Michael was 16-year-old Brandon Russell. He flew in from Kamloops, British Columbia with his parents. After two flights, he got in line at 1 p.m. Thursday.
Russell says the launch is an experience.
“I promised myself five years ago, ‘I’m going to be there on launch night,’” Russell said. “I’m going to sleep there overnight. I’m super excited.”
Russell — who also has an iPhone 8 Plus — says the decision to fly to Edmonton was a no-brainer.
Both Michael and Russell said the atmosphere of the line was a positive one.
“There’s been friendships created here,” Michael explained. “We have an honour system. If one of us has to go to the washroom, we’ll watch over their seat.”
For Michael, It will be his first and last launch.
WATCH: Apple’s new iPhone X comes with a hefty price tag. The 10th anniversary edition will set you back more than $1,300. Online security expert David Papp explains what makes this phone different.