Hordes hungry for the iPhone 5S and 5C line up at Apple Stores

With online orders backordered by several days, the Apple faithful are storming the pavement to wait for the latest from Cupertino.

Waiters at the Rundle Mall in Adelaide, Australia were among the first in the world to get to the front of the line for a new iPhone. Facebook/Rundle Mall

Old habits are hard to break. Even though a (pretty neat-o) fingerprint sensor and some iterative software and hardware improvements are the only real upgrades to the iPhone 5S, lines have been forming outside Apple Stores worldwide in advance of the September 20 launch of the 5S and the "unapologetically plastic" and colorful iPhone 5c.

iPhone sales began first in parts of Australia and Asia, and online orders in parts of Europe are already backordered by as much as 10 days. In North America, Apple fanatics began lining up in Manhattan two weeks ago

Pre-orders for the iPhone 5C began last week, and ship dates soon began to slip. As the official launch date arrives, the iPhone 5S seems to be in particularly short supply, with some speculating that the fingerprint sensor might be difficult for suppliers to deliver on time.

Those people waiting in line for a gold or silver iPhone 5S will have a better chance than those who try to track them down at carrier stores and other retailers. Some reports say that those other outlets will have very little stock of the blinged-out new iPhones.

CNET collected some early images from Apple Store lines around the world in the gallery below. Don't forget to let us know in the comments if and how you plan to get your hands on a new iPhone.

Updated at 10:40 pm to clarify that pre-orders for only the iPhone 5c began last week.

 

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