Demand appears high for a device that's already seen record sales. Analysts say Apple will sell at least 6 million in the first weekend.
And they're off.
Throngs of people around the world are piling into Apple stores to claim the iPhone 5, promising to deliver a huge weekend for a device that has already seen record sales.
Apple said 2 million new iPhones were sold the day it became available for pre-order. Within 24 hours, shipping times slipped to two weeks for the device. Currently, the wait for a pre-ordered iPhone sits at 3 to 4 weeks.
Aussie siblings James and Tamsyn Vohradsky were said to be the first people in the world to purchase the new phone at retail.
Customer demand for the iPhone 5 appeared strong even as Apple became the source of mockery over its new maps application, the many flaws in which have been cataloged with glee across the Internet. (For its part, Apple says the app will get better as people use it.)
Analysts estimate that at worst, the device will sell 6 million units over its first weekend.
Reviews for the new device have been strong. CNET's Scott Stein called it "the iPhone we've always wanted," a device that is at once completely rebuilt and completely familiar."
The iPhone 5 includes a larger screen, access to 4G LTE networks, and a faster A6 processor. A redesign of the body made it significantly lighter than any iPhone to date while maintaining battery life at levels similar to those of the 4S.
Update, 7:41 p.m. PT: The lack of enterprise support has not deterred business users in Singapore from buying the iPhone 5, as they are willing to use other devices to conduct business activities.
Kelvin Zin, acting head at Singapore Economic Development Board's industry identification and incubation, was in the line in Singapore before 8 a.m. Friday for the new Apple smartphone. He told ZDNet Asia he was not concerned he wouldn't be able to access the company e-mail messages through the iPhone 5, since he would still be able to do so through his Apple iPad which had the required VPN client installed. Read more about it here.
Update, 9:30 p.m. PT: We now have photos from the Singapore iPhone 5 launch: