We have counted iPhone launch day lines at every launch since the iPhone 3G in 2008. We believe that based on our count of 775 customers in line for the iPhone 5 at the flagship 5th Avenue store, demand for the iPhone 5 is higher than any previous launch. We believe the line for the iPhone 5 was 70% greater than the line for the iPhone 4S despite Apple taking 2x as many online pre-orders. The trend of Apple product lines at the flagship store had been decreasing, we believe, due to the company taking a greater number of online pre-orders. For the three total stores we observed with Y/Y comps, the average line was 83% longer. Given the strength of the line for the iPhone 5, we are incrementally more confident in Apple’s ability to sell 8 million phones in the launch weekend. – Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster
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[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader "Arline M." for the heads up.]