iphone5_thumb.jpg       Today marks the launch of the latest iPhone. We'll update over the course of the day with any drama or quirks as the residents of the lucky launch territories get their hands on Apple's newest upgrade. 

Stories From the Stores

After all the excitement of the launch, the fuss about the arrival of iOS 6.0, today is the real deal. The Apple iPhone 5 is hitting stores today in 22 territories around the world. Things got off to a shaky start for the rather maligned Maps app in iOS 6.0 as it couldn't even find the Apple Store in Sydney, Australia.

The countdown to the sale there was met with a rather tired cheer due to customers who'd been queuing for days to be at the front of the line. Among them was former Apple big-cheese, Steve Wozniak who wanted to be among the first to own one. 


Here's a pic by Twitter user Jen Dudley Nicholson of the final countdown, she also points out there were no iPhone 5 covers in the store, making for nervous moments for those who don't like their naked iPhones to get dinged. 

In Hong Kong, huge queues were greeted by blue-shirted Apple employees on their way into the store. And on the way out, large numbers of resellers were eagerly waiting to pounce, offering 50% on top of the sale price to take them straight out of their hands, a nice way to make a quick buck. 

Britain's Stiff Upper iLip

In London there are reports of queues of 800+ people around some stores for the new phone (I genuinely thought most people wouldn't be that bothered, so color me impressed). The doors have just opened in stores and we'll try and get some news from the frontlines. 

If you're not at a store in the U.K., then you can order an iPhone 5 from most of their sites. A tip here, the 16GB and 32GB models seem to have two week backlogs in most places, which may well grow as interest picks up, but you can pick up the 64GB model with just a few days wait, although that situation may well change also.

Elsewhere in Europe, the French, typically, found the launch of the biggest product of the year as a good time to threaten a strike at Apple Stores. Hopefully, the queues won't turn angry and turn into France's other favorite hobby of a good riot. 

Back in Britain, the first customer in the queue at Apple's Covent Garden's store has been there for a week, but will be auctioning off the phone he buys for charity. Kudos to o2 stores who handed out free breakfasts to customers waiting for their phones. 

America Awakes

Actually, quite a few haven't slept at all with queues outside New York stores growing all the time. Some of those aren't iPhone buyers though, with Occupy Wall Street protesters joining the queue to highlight inequality and corporate greed. To keep the peace, the NYPD are also outside stores, encouraging users to put their new iPhones on a law enforcement register to help discourage thefts. 

Statistics fans and analysts will be looking for huge numbers from Apple over the weekend. Some are predicting 10 million units sales, while 15% of existing iOS device users have already upgraded to 6.0 according to various webmetrics.

With phones now being snapped up by eager New York and east coast shoppers, it looks like stock levels are so high in some stores that you can just turn up and pick one up (kudos to the Apple supply chain). For those in the area, reports suggest the wait for an iPhone at Apple's Fifth Avenue store is around an hour.