HOUSTON - The line around the Apple Store in Highland Village on Wednesday grew just as fast as the anticipation for the release of the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
The new iPhones will be released Thursday morning. Most will go to those who pre-ordered them online. However, there were others who decided to wait in line after encountering trouble reserving Apple's latest creations.
"It was just a really big inconvenience," Vaughn Simon said of online pre-ordering. "So I figured I'd come here like every other year and I'd be guaranteed a phone."
Despite the presence of more than a dozen tents, Wednesday's rain made waiting in line a sloppy affair.
"AT&T messed up my order and I didn't want to wait four weeks," said one customer.
"I had to sit through the rain and my tent got flooded," said Justin Quyrk, the first in line.
Quyrk said he lives in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and made the three-hour drive to Highland Village in Houston.
"This the closest Apple store without going into New Orleans," Quyrk said.
Ironically, Wednesday's gathering did have a Mardi Gras-type atmosphere. Some in line weren't even there to buy a phone.
"I'm not here for the iPhone," boasted Dane Thorwaldson. "I'm here for the show, for the party, for the experience."
For some the experience of waiting in line for Apple's new phone has become a tradition.
"It's become a family tradition," Michael Stanley said, sitting next to his 15-year-old son, Jacob. "We get to have a father-son campout every year."
The Apple Store at Highland Village will be opening two hours earlier than usual on Friday at 8 a.m. The store will be open until 9 p.m.
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