KANSAS CITY, Mo — Friday morning, Apple finally delivered the prize thousands of line-sitters around the world are waiting for. The iPhone 5 went on sale at 8 a.m. local time on Friday in the U.S., Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and the UK.
The phone is virtually guaranteed to be Apple’s all-time bestseller. Apple took more than 2 million pre-orders in the first 24 hours, shattering last year’s iPhone 4S record, and analysts forecast that it will sell as many as 10 million units by Monday morning. Apple’s early inventory is already sold out: Online orders placed now won’t ship for three to four weeks.
Those hoping to snag an iPhone 5 had to brave a retail line. Apple’s stores typically have the best stockpiles, but they also draw the longest lines.
A variety of other retailers — including carriers AT&T, Verizon and Sprint — also have the iPhone 5 available for sale on Friday, but their stashes were expected to go fast.
Apple’s iPhone 5 release comes nearly one year after Apple’s iPhone 4S, the model that introduced the world to Siri. The thinner, faster iPhone 5 is Apple’s first hardware overhaul in several years. Reviewers have praised the phone’s bigger screen, zippy processor, stellar camera and elegant packaging, but two major changes sparked blowback.Apple’s redesigned “Lightning” connector will require a pricey adapter to link up with old accessories (and it won’t work at all with some of them), and early adopters have almost universally blasted Apple’s new Map app, which replaced the more-polished Google Maps. A satirical Tumblr, theamazingios6maps.tumblr.com, popped up on Thursday to highlight the ludicrously inaccurate suggestions the new app often makes.