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iPhone 5S goes on sale, consumers around the world already caressing new device

Check out our review of the Apple iPhone 5S smartphone.

It’s Friday, September 20, which for die-hard Apple fans means only one thing – the launch of the latest iPhone (that’s the 5S, in case you hadn’t realized).

As US-based fanboys slept soundly in their beds dreaming of Touch ID technology and slow-motion video shoots, the Earth’s rotation and interaction with that big orange thing in the sky meant consumers in countries such as Japan, China and Australia were already bundling into Apple stores, high-fiving staff and whooping with iPhone-inspired joy in gleeful anticipation of finally getting their hands on the Cupertino company’s newest smartphone.

There are certainly some serious Apple devotees knocking around, with one guy in Japan setting up camp outside Apple’s flagship store in Tokyo’s upscale Ginza district 10 days ago, arriving to take his place on the very same day the tech giant introduced the revamped device. 

The video below, shot when the store opened this morning, shows quite a few TV cameras present as the waiting crowd surges noisily into the store in search of the new handset.

While around 800 reportedly lined up outside the Ginza store (with some apparently dressed as Batman or wearing Steve Jobs face masks), as many as 2,000 were said to be waiting outside the Apple store in Munich, Germany.

A total of 11 countries are involved in today’s rollout.

The tech giant for the first time launched the handset in China on the same day as other major markets, an indication of the country’s growing importance in Apple’s growth plans. The line outside the company’s flagship store in Beijing was short, however, as customers were given a specific time slot to collect their device. The more orderly system was introduced following trouble at previous launches.

Apple’s decision not to put the 5S up for pre-order as it has done with previous launches of its handset could result in longer than usual lines outside some Apple stores yet to open.

And those waiting may be feeling a little antsy as recent reports suggest the new phone might initially be in short supply. As long as it doesn’t result in any egg throwing or mass brawls, anyone passing within 50 meters of an Apple store today should be just fine.

If you’ve managed to pick up one of Apple’s new handsets from a store today, let us know your experience in the comments below.

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