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iPhone 5 launches in Asia, while US Apple fans must wait a little longer….

For Apple fans in the US eager to get their hands on the latest iPhone, the wait is almost over. Those camping outside one of the company’s many stores need just one more night on the street before their wish is fulfilled. In Asia, meanwhile, customers are already holding, stroking – and probably in some cases caressing – their new device.

At the front of the global line on Friday morning was Australia, with Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong not far behind.

AP footage taken outside an Apple store in Tokyo’s swanky Ginza shopping district showed a line of fans waiting patiently in rainy weather. The video then shows someone we assume to be the store manager conducting a sing-song with members of staff. “Are you ready?” he shouted enthusiastically. “Yes, we’re ready,” came the choral reply, which was just as well, because it was opening time.

Customers then poured into the store, with a man who looked to be in his 20s among the first to emerge, proudly holding up his new handset for the gathered press.

Consumers in the UK, France and Germany will be the next to receive the new handset, while those in North America need another night on the street before they get theirs (unless they’re having it delivered, of course).

DT’s Natt Garun has been meeting some of the folks waiting in line outside Apple’s Fifth Avenue store in New York.

One guy, the appropriately named John Mcintosh, has been waiting since Sunday. “There’s a lot of cool people on line, that’s really the best part.” Mcintosh told DT. At the time of writing, presumably Mcintosh is in the midst of a dewy-eyed dream featuring him unboxing his new phone in slow-motion, perhaps planting a tender kiss on its screen before fondling its buttons in a manner suggesting forking out for the new handset was money well spent.

The new iPhone went on sale last week, with the Cupertino company taking two million pre-orders for the device in the first 24 hours, breaking the previous record set by the iPhone 4S.

Users upgrading to the iPhone 5 from an earlier model get a lighter, thinner device with a bigger screen, better camera, faster processor, and 4G LTE compatibility.

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