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Justin, 22 and Ross, 20, at the front of the line at the Union Square San Francisco Apple Store are from Oakland, and have been in line here since Tuesday.

Published:Caption:Photo:James Martin/CNET

Comparing different Apple Watch Series 4 bands as they go on sale at the Union Square Apple Store in San Francisco.

Published:Caption:Photo:James Martin/CNET

Shopping for a new Apple Watch Series 4 as it goes on sale in San Francisco on September 21, 2018.

Published:Caption:Photo:James Martin/CNET

Shopping for a new Apple Watch Series 4. It's a deal. 

Published:Caption:Photo:James Martin/CNET

Published:Photo:James Martin/CNET

Nike's Colin Kaepernick billboard looks down over the Apple Store in Union Square in San Francisco, Calif. as the iPhone XS goes on sale on September 21, 2018.

Published:Caption:Photo:James Martin/CNET

The line in front of the Apple Store in San Francisco's Union Square.

Published:Caption:Photo:James Martin/CNET

The Apple Sydney store gets first bite

While the queues outside Australia's flagship Apple store in Sydney were down from last year (when the company celebrated the iPhone's 10th anniversary with the launch of the iPhone X), dedicated fans were still lining up to get their hands on the new iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and Apple Watch Series 4 on Friday in front of the waiting media scrum.

Published:Caption:Photo:Claire Reilly/CNET

Outside Apple Sydney

Apple store employees look down over the balcony at the queues outside (in between erupting into fits of summer camp cheering).

Published:Caption:Photo:Claire Reilly/CNET

First in line

Teddy Lee, a 20-year-old restaurant management student from South Korea was first in line for the public queue in Sydney. While he currently owns a Samsung phone, he was keen to switch to a gold iPhone XS.

"My first smartphone was iPhone 4," he said. "Currently I'm using Samsung, but I'm going to switch to iPhone because iPhone is more [of a] fit for me."

Published:Caption:Photo:Claire Reilly/CNET

Four launches and counting

Mazen Kourouche, 21, is a regular at Apple's Sydney store. For the past four years, he's been at the front of the line to buy new iPhones to unbox on his YouTube channel. On Friday, he was first in the preorder queue, waiting to pick up his iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and Apple Watch Series 4. He also plans to buy an iPhone XR when it goes on sale.

"I do flip a lot of my tech," he said.

Published:Caption:Photo:Claire Reilly/CNET

Namrata Singh, 37, and her friend Rohit Das, 40, are both on holiday from India. Singh, a domestic pilot based in New Delhi, came to the Apple Sydney store to try her luck in the queue (after dropping her last phone in the toilet). Compared to India, Singh said Apple's Australian launch was quite a spectacle.

"I haven't seen people queue up for Apple in India at all," she said. "So I'm quite surprised to see these queues... it's fairly fascinating."

Published:Caption:Photo:Claire Reilly/CNET

Doors open

Apple staff get ready to open the doors as staff cheer inside.

Published:Caption:Photo:Claire Reilly/CNET

First in the world

Teddy Lee and Mazen Kourouche walk out of the Apple Sydney store with their new iPhones (and Apple Watch). Apple's stores on Australia's east coast are the first in the world to open their doors, making Lee and Kourouche among the first buyers in the world to get their hands on the new iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max.

Published:Caption:Photo:Claire Reilly/CNET

Unboxing

Mazen Kourouche headed back into the Apple Sydney store to unbox his new iPhone.

Published:Caption:Photo:Claire Reilly/CNET

Golden touch

Apple's new gold iPhone was a big draw card for people buying in Sydney.

Published:Caption:Photo:Claire Reilly/CNET

Look at Memoji

Apple says the new iPhone XS promises to unlock 30 percent faster using Face ID. That front-facing camera can also be used to create animated Memojis.

Published:Caption:Photo:Claire Reilly/CNET

iPhone XS ans XS Max

The iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max on display in the Sydney store. 

Published:Caption:Photo:Claire Reilly/CNET

Apple Watch Series 4

It wasn't just about the iPhone on Friday. The Apple Watch Series 4 (shown here with a premium Hermes band) was also on sale at Apple Sydney.

Published:Caption:Photo:Claire Reilly/CNET

Steady queues

After the excitement of the doors opening, crowds still queued to pick up their preorders.

Published:Caption:Photo:Claire Reilly/CNET

Walking up to buy the new iPhone

Half an hour after Apple Sydney opened its doors, customers were still steadily walking in off the street to buy the new iPhone XS.

Published:Caption:Photo:Claire Reilly/CNET

Now on to Singapore

Apple fans queued as early as 7 a.m. Thursday to be the first in the region to own the new iPhones.

Published:Caption:Photo:Aloysius Low/CNET

Long queues

Customers from around Southeast Asia queued up at the Apple Store in Singapore's Orchard Road shopping belt to get their hands on the new phone. The Singapore Apple Store is the only one in the region for now. 

Published:Caption:Photo:Aloysius Low/CNET

First in Singapore

Student Daniel Lim, 23, was the first to get his hands on two 512GB iPhone XS Max. He preordered his phones so didn't have to queue overnight, waiting only an hour before he got his new toys.

Published:Caption:Photo:Aloysius Low/CNET

Flying in from Vietnam

Self-employed Phan Minh Tuan, 25, flew in from Vietnam to get his hands on the iPhone XS Max in gold. He had been waiting in line since 5 p.m. Thursday along with five of his friends, also from Vietnam.

Published:Caption:Photo:Aloysius Low/CNET

Inside the Apple Store

Apple staff welcomed walk-ins and preorder customers in the usual style.

Published:Caption:Photo:Aloysius Low/CNET

Queuing in Madrid.

Dozens of people gather for the launch of the new iPhone XS at the door of the iconic Apple Store de Sol, in Madrid, on Friday morning.

Published:Caption:Photo:Érika García/ CNET

A long wait

Some of the people waiting in line preordered their iPhones. But others have had to queue overnight.

Published:Caption:Photo:Érika García/ CNET

A drop in numbers?

Plenty of people turned up for the launch of the new iPhone XS. But last year we saw more people waiting for the iPhone X.

Published:Caption:Photo:Érika García/ CNET

An early adopter

One of the first people to get their hands on the iPhone XS Max at Sol's store is a Spanish journalist specializing in technology. He checks out the phones in the store before the staff give him his new iPhone.

Published:Caption:Photo:Érika García/ CNET

The London line

Regent Street is one of London's main shopping streets, but it's an extremely narrow and struggles to contain the Apple Store queue.

Published:Caption:Photo:Katie Collins/CNET

Queuing in the cold

Only a small number of people queued overnight in London. The weather was clear, but it was cold, and Regent Street is a noisy place to spend a night.

Published:Caption:Photo:Katie Collins/CNET

Getting the party started

The Apple Store employees always know how to turn getting a new iPhone into a celebration.

Published:Caption:Photo:Katie Collins/CNET

Mystery man

The first person in the queue this year was a media-shy gentleman who kept his identity private. But he couldn't stop himself from cracking a smile when he got his new iPhone.

Published:Caption:Photo:Katie Collins/CNET

Smiles all round

Many of those picking up their iPhones took selfies with their new devices or got their friends to take photos of them posing with them.

Published:Caption:Photo:Katie Collins/CNET

A busy morning

After the first people in line got their iPhones, the Apple Store filled up fast with people keen to see all the new tech on sale.

Published:Caption:Photo:Katie Collins/CNET

To buy or not to buy?

Most of the customers were there to pick up preordered iPhones, but the buzz around the Apple Store also attracted people who had yet to make up their minds.

Published:Caption:Photo:Katie Collins/CNET

Should I stay or should I go?

Some people preferred to grab their iPhones and leave, but other customers set their new phones up straight away.

Published:Caption:Photo:Katie Collins/CNET

Testing the camera

Someone is impressed with the depth effect from the dual-lens camera.

Published:Caption:Photo:Katie Collins/CNET

Card or cash?

Most customers pay for their new phones with plastic, but some like to flash the cash and pay with paper.

Published:Caption:Photo:Katie Collins/CNET

NYC's flagship store

In New York, Apple's flagship store, "the Cube," is still undergoing a renovation, so the company opened a temporary store just behind it. 

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

Construction zone

To get to the line from the west side you'll walk by the walled-off construction zone.

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

Two lines

You can get in either a preorder line, or a line for folks who just want to go in and buy a phone inside.

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

Just visiting

Abraham Papas, age 24, visiting from Turkey, waited for 15 hours and is first on the non-preorder line.

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

Preorders only

Preorder customers will be let in first.

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

Down the block

The lines go down the block on both sides.

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

Ready for the onslaught

Meanwhile Apple's staff gets psyched for the day's madness.

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

The grand entrance

The first guy in the preorder line gets high fives from Apple store staff as he enters the store.

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

All hands on deck

I went upstairs to check out the view from above the registers.  

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

Busy day

Only a certain number of people are allowed in at one time. It's a lot, but it appears manageable.

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

Happy customer

Now that's a happy customer.

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

A long-awaited upgrade

Abraham is upgrading from a 6S Plus to the XS Max, so he's pretty excited.  He said he didn't buy the iPhone X because it was too small.

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

A happy customer

Having completed his purchase, he's ready to go.

Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
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