It's here! The iPhone 5 is officially available today, as crowds of thousands stood in line at Apple stores and retail outlets all over the world. At 8 a.m. Friday morning in each respective global time zone, the iPhone 5 officially went on sale.
With more than two million pre-orders, Apple anticipates the iPhone 5 launch will be the biggest iPhone launch to date. Buyers who pre-ordered the iPhone 5 will begin to have their new iPhones shipped today, but buyers who braved the crowds and stood in line now have those iPhones in their hot little hands.
At the flagship Apple store in New York, nearly a thousand iPhoneys assembled peacefully to be among the very first iPhone 5 owners. FierceWireless has video of the iPhone 5 line in New York, where the line stretched block after block after block after block.
New York iPhone lovers got a special assist from the local police. The NYPD was onhand to register new iPhones so they can be traced in the case of theft. Evidently iPhones are extremely popular with thieves!
Thanks to their global time zone placement, Sydney, Australia was the first major city to hit 8 a.m. Friday, September 21 and begin selling iPhones. An estimated crowd of 600 iPhone fans were lined up at the Apple store in Sydney, where they were styled out with a DJ and free food. Apple co-founder Steve "Woz" Wozniak was onhand with them to buy his new iPhone (actually, he bought two). Wozniak is traveling in Australia on business.
One hour later, the iPhone 5 officially went on sale in Japan. iPhoners will be particularly impressed by the Japanese guy who dressed up as an iPhone 5 to wait in line for an iPhone 5.
In London, Apple set up a temporary "pop-up shop" store so buyers could wait in line on top of the O2 Arena concert venue. Londoners were treated to a top-of-the-building, 360-degree panoramic view of the city from a perspective of 170 feet above street level. In London, they refer to 170 feet with the curious phrase "52 metres".
CNET reports that lines in San Francisco were long, but not as long as the new iPad lines that formed for the launch of that tablet this past March. The first person in line had been waiting there nearly a week.
He did not want the iPhone for himself. He was hired on TaskRabbit and was paid $1,500 to wait in line for someone else. For perspective, the phone itself would have cost no more than $399.