Apple Fans Queue up for iPhone 5 Outside Apple Stores Worlwide

Apple fans queued around city blocks worldwide on Friday to get their hands on the new iPhone 5 – but grumbling about inaccurate maps tempered the excitement.

iPhone5 Launch Day at the Telstra T-Life Bourke Street Mall, Melbourne. Photo: Avlxyz/Flickr

From London to Sydney, they Apple fans have been waited patiently for hours – with many camping out for days decking specially made outfits.

First 10 people were lined up outside the Apple Store on Monday to become among the first to own the new iPhone 5. Customers will be able to purchase Apple’s latest handset at 8 a.m. local time this Friday.

Demand for the new iPhone is at a fever pitch, with the handset on pace to become the fastest selling smartphone ever. Apple announced earlier Monday that preorders for the iPhone 5 reached 2 million in its first 24 hours of availability, more than doubling that of its predecessor, the iPhone 4S.

The new smartphone went on sale across the United States, Europe, Asia and Australia, with mobile carriers reporting record demand that looked likely to stretch Apple’s supply capacity, according to Reuters.

Hundreds of people lined up around the block at Apple’s store on New York City’s swanky Fifth Avenue.

In Annapolis, Maryland, customers settled in lawn chairs waiting for the Apple store in Westfield Annapolis Mall to open.

In London’s central Regent Street, about 1,300 people lined up to buy the iPhone 5, nearly twice as many as showed up for the previous iPhone.

Meanwhile, hundreds of French iPhone fans lining up at Apple’s main store in Paris got an earful from disgruntled employees and former retailers protesting against Apple policies.

In Brisbane, the Apple hysteria started with people lining Queen Street Mall, and in the northern suburbs, hundreds snaked their way through Westfield Chermside for the release of the latest iPhone, News.com.au reports.

Staff in blue shirts whistled and cheered as each new customer was escorted into the store where Steve Wozniak, one of the original founders of then-Apple Computers mingled with customers and appeared to sign autographs.

Those who spent the night camped outside Telstra’s Bourke Streets store in Melbourne were among the first in the world to get their hands on the new iPhone 5.

In Tokyo, the lines stretched back several blocks.

In Hong Kong, people carrying rucksacks filled with cash waited outside the city’s main Apple store, hoping to snap up phones for resale. Staff there chanted “iPhone 5, iPhone 5.”

Analysts expect Apple to sell up to 10 million iPhone 5 models in the remaining days of September. JP Morgan estimates the phone could provide a $3.2 billion boost to the U.S. economy in the fourth quarter – a boost almost equal to the whole economy of Fiji.

“It looks like another strong opening day for Apple. They should sell more iPhone 5s than any prior model,” said BTIG analyst Walt Piecyk. Apple shares gained 0.8 percent reaching, a high of $704.67 in morning trading in New York.

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