Wozniak first in line for iPhone 4S

Steve Wozniak stepped triumphantly from his local Apple store caressing a new iPhone 4S and promptly told the gadget's robotic assistant to ring up his wife.

"It did it right," Wozniak said. "I'm really happy already."

The software engineer, who co-founded Apple with Steve Jobs back in the 1970s, had camped out through the night at his local Apple Store in the California city of Los Gatos and was first in line when 4S models went on sale.

"I actually have iPhones delivered to my house, but I've gotten so used to loving to wait in line overnight," Wozniak told a local news reporter when asked about taking part in what has become a ritual for Apple gadget lovers.

"The product has meaning," he explained. "It is such an important part of life that I want to recognise it."

An artificial intelligence Siri "intelligent personal assistant" was one of the new iPhone features he was excited about, along with a much-improved camera.

"You speak to it and it speaks back to you with answers, not just links," Wozniak said of Siri.

"Google is known for search engines," he continued during an interview available online. "I say search engines should be replaced by answer engines."

Wozniak rode one of his two-wheeled Segway personal transporters to his local Apple shop late last Thursday to be surprised to find that he was the first to begin a queue.

There were about 100 aspiring 4S buyers behind Wozniak by the time the shop doors opened the next morning.

The fact that people lay siege to Apple stores to get the culture-changing California firm's gadgets shows that they "get it," according to Wozniak.

A queue had also formed outside the Apple Store in the Silicon Valley city of Palo Alto, where Jobs lived until he died at home on October 5 at the age of 56 after years of battling cancer.

Wozniak, now 61, founded Apple with Jobs in 1976. Last week Wozniak said he was "dumbfounded" by the news of his friend's death.

The 4S went on sale in a host of countries on Friday and a jovial atmosphere pervaded most Apple stores from Australia to Tokyo to Europe as thousands waited in line for the gadgets.

A release date, carrier and pricing for the iPhone 4S is yet to be announced for New Zealand.

- AFP

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