Apple fans queue up for new iPhone

People queuing for the new phone outside O2 on Princes Street

People queuing for the new phone outside O2 on Princes Street

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EAGER Apple fans around the world queued up today to make sure they would be among the first people to get their hands on the new iPhone 5.

The latest iPhone went on sale at 8am today. And it is already guaranteed to be a best-seller with the company reporting pre-orders around the world of two million in just 24 hours - double the first-day sales of the previous iPhone 4S.

Apple said demand has been so great that many customers would not get their handsets until October.

The phone, which can can use the newly-announced 4G network, costs from £529 with the 32GB model selling for £599 and the 64GB version costing £699.

The launch of new Apple products traditionally draw impressive queues at the brand’s stores, with first-time campers joining veterans who are willing to sleep rough for up to a week to be one of the first to own the latest piece of technology.

Some Apple enthusiasts set up camp outside the company’s flagship UK store in London’s Regent Street yesterday to book their place in the queue for today’s launch.

In Edinburgh, customers queued outside 02 stores in Princes Street and Ocean Terminal where the new phone was on sale. 02 said customers in the Capital would be able to walk out with the handset today.

In Australia, an estimated 600 people queued around the block from the Apple store in central Sydney, the first in the world to hand over an iPhone 5 to buyer at 8am local time - 10pm last night in this country. Customers were limited to buying a maximum of two phones.

In Hong Kong, small groups of people carrying rucksacks filled with cash waited outside the city’s flagship store hoping to snap up phones for resale.

Masayoshi Son, president of Softbank Corp, one of the two Japanese carriers selling the phone, said he was concerned that Apple does not have enough production capacity to meet demand.

KDDI Corp, the other Japanese carrier offering the iPhone, said that it had already run out of the new phone.

Experts have predicted as many as 30 million iPhone 5s will be sold worldwide in the next three months with an estimated 50 million sales over the next year.

The phones are also available via Everything Everywhere, Orange, T-Mobile, Vodafone, 3, and other Apple authorised resellers, as well as the Apple Online Store, though customers have been warned they may not get it delivered until September 28 even if they buy now.