Despite mixed reviews surrounding Apple's new iPhone 4S, more than 150 prospective buyers showed up for its release on Friday morning at the company's store in Santa Monica.
The new smartphone looks like the iPhone 4 but has some new features. They include Siri, a voice-recognizing and talking assistant that responds to commands and answers questions; additional new voice controls; stronger camera features; improved speed; and data that is cloud-sourced.
The opened Friday at 8 a.m., an hour earlier than usual, and the line stretched about 300 feet, to .
First in line was Michael Morales, who arrived Thursday at 2 p.m., and Santa Monica resident Brandon Lynch, who got there about four and a half hours later. Both said they were most excited about Siri.
Another Santa Monica dweller, Ruslan Enyullaev—who, like Morales and Lynch, camped overnight in front of the store—said he was also eager to check out the new voice-recognition feature.
Omar Shah, who also lives in Santa Monica and arrived Thursday night, said he was most excited about the iPhone 4S's purported speed.
"The speed test is exponentially superior to any phone out right now," he said. As for Siri, he added, "Since we haven't used it yet, it's a genie in a bottle."
Also on Friday, fans of Steve Jobs are celebrating the recently deceased Apple co-founder by staging Steve Jobs Day. Fans are encouraging people to dress like Jobs, take photos of themselves and post them on Facebook. The tributes are being collected on the Steve Jobs Day site.
In other Apple news related to Santa Monica, a new promenade store is in the works. It's set to be built where the old Borders store used to be (1415 Third St.) and is slated to consist primarily of glass, including the ceiling.