Apple fans jammed shops from Sydney to Tokyo to pick up the tech juggernaut’s latest iPhone.
Eager buyers formed long lines Friday at Apple Inc. stores in Australia and Japan to be the first to get their hands on the latest version of the smartphone. In Hong Kong and Singapore, buyers had to sign up online for the chance to pick up the device at a prearranged time. The first customers in Hong Kong were greeted by staff cheering, clapping, chanting “iPhone 5! iPhone 5!” and high-fiving them as they were escorted one-by-one through the front door.
The smartphone is also being launched in the U.S., U.K., Canada, France and Germany. It will go on sale in 22 more countries a week later. The iPhone 5 is thinner, lighter, has a taller screen, faster processor, updated software and can work on faster “fourth generation” mobile networks.
Order numbers indicate the iPhone 5 has overcome initial lukewarm reviews. Apple received 2 million orders in the first 24 hours of announcing its release date, more than twice the number for the iPhone 4S in the same period when that phone launched a year ago.
Analysts have estimated Apple will ship as many as 10 million of the new iPhones by the end of September.