iPhone 5 released – Apple Stores open early to flog new phone

This morning at 8am, Apple Stores across the country opened their doors to sell the first iPhone 5 phones. As ever, the queues snaked around streets and the excitement among those present was palpable.

There’s something magic in the air today. It can only mean one thing – the iPhone 5 is here. It’s available to buy across Apple’s main territories today, including the UK.

The iPhone 5 has already proved to be an early success, having already netted two million pre-orders within its first 24 hours of availability. Early US reviews of the phone are largely positive too, saying that while it’s not a hugely dramatic change, it doesn’t derail the series either.

If you want an iPhone 5 but haven’t yet pre-ordered one or snagged one on the high street, you may have to wait a little while. As is the norm for iPhone releases, demand has outstripped supply and the initial allotment at the Apple website sold out very quickly. The site currently displays “3-4 week” availability for all iPhone 5 models. 
       
What do you get with an iPhone 5 that you don’t get with an iPhone 4S? The main upgrade is the screen. For the first time in iPhone history, the screen is not 3.5in across. It’s now a 4-incher, and the phone isn’t any wider as a result. The iPhone 5 has gone widescreen, which should help the video-watching and game-playing experiences in particular.

Read our iPhone 5 vs iPhone 4S comparison >

Other new features include a faster processor, a slimmer profile and new metal construction – the glass rear of the iPhone 4S is gone now. Analyst estimates suggest that the iPhone 5 could sell as many as 26 million units this year, potentially outstripping the Samsung Galaxy S3.

We’ll be back with our full iPhone 5 review shortly, so stay tuned for the verdict. Want to know a bit more on what it’ll offer right now? We’ve already posted a review of iOS 6, the software that runs the show in the new phone.

The iPhone 5 starts at £529 SIM-free, which will net you the 16GB edition. Like the iPhone 4S, the phone is available in white and black finishes. Although if you’ve any sense you’ll put the thing in a nice protective iPhone 5 case.

Drop us a line with your verdict if you’ve already picked up an iPhone 5.  

More Mobile Phone News >

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