IIRC, they start handing out iPhones when the store opens. In any case, you already know you'll have to line up overnight if you want to be one of the first to get it. If you don't care about that, you could probably just get in line early in the morning and prepare to wait for several hours.
Originally Posted by simplylaurakb
Each mall with an Apple Store has different policies about spending the night. Woz, for example, spent the night at the San Jose Valley Fair mall before the iP4 launch. The two nearest Apple Stores for me are not in malls, so I'd have to either bring a sleeping bag or prep for an all-nighter.
I've never waited in a line like this, but I'm going to guess that either city police or Apple Store security will be around to keep things in order. You might want to ask the stores you're considering. I did wait 30 min. in a line for a recent grand opening t-shirt. It was a great atmosphere with plenty of drinks and snacks being handed out by local businesses.