By Ian Sager, msnbc.com editor
There's no better proof that New York never sleeps than the 24-hour Apple store. The Fifth Avenue landmark is open all hours, 365 days a year, and is always buzzing with business. When I arrived there at 7 a.m. this morning, the storefront area was more than just buzzing. It was vibrating, ring-toning, GPS-ing, and doing everything else that the iPhone 2.0 promised to the line of excited buyers.
By 7:40 a.m., the line snaked down the block, around the corner, and only got longer as the morning progressed. But the crowd kept in good spirits. One woman, Elyannie Espinao of Manhattan, told me that she'd "accidentally" dropped her old iPhone in the toilet recently. "I'm looking to either fix my old one, or upgrade to the new model," she said. When asked which way she was leaning, Espino looked at me as if I had three heads, smirked, and said, "Leaning towards an upgrade." Another Manhattan resident, David Major, 28, confessed, "I sold my old iPhone on EBay last night. When I saw what they were going for, I decided to sell my old one to cover the cost of my new phone."
As the excitement of edging closer to the front of the line grew, entrepreneurs worked the crowd. Companies plied them with energy drinks, bottles of water, organic apples, local restaurant menus, s'mores, and free cups of coffee. People were offering free handouts of everything imaginable (but, sadly, not iPhones).
Not surprisingly, security was on hand whenever someone's iPhone excitement bubbled over. A man was not-so-subtly asked to move on after informing the crowd that their reward for a morning spent on the line would be an eternity with Satan.