Apple CEO Tim Cook appears in New York to celebrate iPhone 15 release

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Apple CEO Tim Cook visits NYC flagship store as iPhone 15 goes on sale

Apple CEO Tim Cook opened the company’s Fifth Avenue store Friday in New York to celebrate the official release of the iPhone 15 lineup, the Apple Watch Series 9 and the Apple Watch Ultra 2.

Customers flocked to the store to get their hands on the new devices, and the line stretched around the corner of 58th Street from Fifth Avenue to Madison Avenue. One man told CNBC’s Steve Kovach that he had been waiting in line since 8 p.m. the night before. Cook unlocked the store and took selfies with people as they entered.

Apple announced its new devices at its annual launch event earlier this month, and preorders opened Sept. 15. Analysts and investors are watching closely to see whether the new iPhones can reignite the global smartphone market, which is on track to hit a decade low this year, according to an August report from Counterpoint Research.

In a Thursday note, before the launch of the devices in stores, analysts at Bank of America wrote that ship dates for the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max models were extended but “somewhat lower” on average compared to the preorder cycle last year.

Shares of Apple closed up less than 1% Friday. The company did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

The new iPhone 15 lineup starts at $799 and features a USB-C charging port and a new titanium exterior. CNBC’s Kif Leswing tested the two new Pro iPhones, which start at $999 and $1,199, and found that the titanium is a “huge upgrade” because it makes the phone feel much lighter.

Customers can purchase the new devices at their nearest Apple Store or online.

iPhone 15 goes on sale: Apple CEO Tim Cook opens Fifth Avenue Apple store

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