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Apple iPhone 5 goes on sale - pictures

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Apple has today released its brand new smartphone, the iPhone 5, with queues of eager fans greeting the product as it goes on sale around the world.

Announced on September 12, the iPhone 5 has a larger 4-inch screen (up from 3.5-inch in previous iPhone models) in a body that is taller than its predecessor, the iPhone 4S, but the same width and even slightly thinner thanks to some nifty engineering from Apple.

iPhone 5 launch: Customers celebrate in Tokyo as the iPhone 5 officially goes on sale

© PA Images / Koji Sasahara / AP



Other new features include a faster Apple A6 Processor, a smaller Lightning dock connector, redesigned Earpod headphones and support for 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) connectivity, enabling superfast mobile data speeds.

On Wednesday (September 19), Apple also rolled out the new iOS 6 operating system that runs on the iPhone 5, bringing 200 new features including Apple's own Maps application, Facebook integration and improvements to Siri.

Apple said that it received more than 2m advance orders for the iPhone 5 in just 24 hours after pre-orders began online on September 14.

That smashed the previous 1m record set by the iPhone 4S in October 2011, and pushed back delivery of later orders to around two weeks.

Various partner retailers, such as the Carphone Warehouse, have also reported unprecedented demand for the smartphone.

The iPhone 5 becomes available in the US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and the UK from today (Friday, September 21).

Offered in Black & Slate or White & Silver colour options, the SIM-free phone costs £529 for the 16GB model, £599 for the 32GB and £699 for the 64GB.

Various mobile carriers, including Orange, Vodafone and O2, are offering discounted or free handsets on mobile price plans.

EE, the new mobile network created by Everything Everywhere that includes Orange and T-Mobile, intends to offer the LTE iPhone 5, although it has not yet announced a firm release date, or said how much it will cost.

According to analysts iSuppli, the iPhone 5 is estimated to cost Apple $207 (£127.77) to produce for the 16GB version, rising to $230 for the 64GB model. These figures are just estimates and do not factor in Apple's marketing, staff, development or other costs related to the iPhone 5.

After its release earlier in the month, Apple's latest smartphone got a rather mixed initial response from the critics, including some people lamenting Apple's perceived lack of ambition in its new design and technology.

But Graham Stapleton, the chief commercial operator at Carphone Warehouse, said that the initial criticism of the iPhone 5 appears "laughable" considering the consumer response.

Joseph Cruz, 19, far right, from Staten Island, N.Y., waits on line outside Apple's Fifth Avenue store on Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012, in New York. Cruz, who started camping last Friday to be one of the first to get the new iPhone 5, said "it's unique, I just love the iphone."

© PA Images / Bebeto Matthews/AP



"Once you hold the handset in your hand as I have, you can really tell how premium and slick the design is," he said.

"We're really excited about the release this Friday and we're convinced that customers are not going to be disappointed. The only decision that customers need to think about is which network is going to give them the best deal."

Estimates suggest that Apple could sell up to 6 million iPhone 5 units in the first weekend of sales, smashing all previous records, and then potentially shift up to 10m in the first week of global sales.

Keen not to miss out on the iPhone 5 - and possibly also keen for their 15 minutes of fame - some people started queuing at Apple stores in London and New York from late last week.

Queues gather outside the Apple store in Regent Street, London, ahead of the release of the iPhone 5 tomorrow morning.

© PA Images / Sean Dempsey/PA Wire



At the Regent Street Apple Store, some queuers were waiting for charity, including George Horne and Richard Wheatcroft, who started the line when they set up camp on September 13 to raise money for an organisation that helps vulnerable women find employment (part of Crowd Fuelled Causes).

Cam Newton was in fourth place on the line of canvas chairs outside the grand Apple retail outlet in London, and was there to raise money for charity through sponsorship.

After joining the queue on Monday (September 17), he was hit almost straight away by the heavy rain, but opted to stick it out to get the iPhone 5.

Asked about the public reaction to the queue, he told Digital Spy: "You get a whole mix of reactions. Some are positive and others are not.

"Some people shout at you, like, 'Get a life, you loser'. But then you tell them that it is for charity and they feel like a d**k."

Apple fans waiting outside the London store on Regent Street for the iPhone 5

© WENN



Others in the queue were waiting purely for business purposes, such as one man who was there to purchase the maximum two iPhone 5 units Apple will allow each person, and then go to the back of the queue and offer them for a £100 premium.

But the most inspiring person was Seb Ali, who suffers with severe autism, yet had been waiting in line for the iPhone 5 since the previous Friday.

Sitting with him, his father said that Seb was a huge Apple fan and desperately wanted the latest smartphone.

Seb himself added that the new Passbook digital wallet and larger screen are the features he is most looking forward to in the iPhone 5.

His family had taken turns to stay with him over the week and ensure he was safe and well fed.


"He is really passionate about Apple," Seb's father told Digital Spy. "He really wanted to get the phone. It has been great for him, to focus on this over the week. We hope next year that the National Autistic Society will sponsor him to do it again."

Alongside the iPhone 5, also launching today is Apple's new nano SIM technology, which is 40% smaller than the current micro-SIM card design and opens up more space inside the handset for components.

After the dust settles on the iPhone 5, the technology world will next focus on whether Apple will announce its rumoured new iPad Mini small screen tablet as expected next month.

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