The wait is over for iPhone 5 fans
Apple mania reached fever pitch today as lucky punters became the first to get their hands on the new iPhone.
The latest Apple gadget became available from 8am, as hundreds were cheered into the brand's store in Covent Garden, central London.
Apple store workers dressed in blue T-shirts formed a passageway and high-fived customers who had been waiting outside the shop for up to a week.
The phone is already guaranteed to be a best-seller, with the company reporting pre-orders around the world of two million in just 24 hours and many customers not expected to receive theirs until October.
IT businessman Ryan Williams was the first person in the queue and said the atmosphere as he picked up the phone was "crazy".
Williams, 22, from Swanley in Kent, had been camping out in Covent Garden for a week with his friend Peter King.
But the pair were not doing it just for their love of tech - Mr Williams auctioned off the first iPhone to hit the UK's streets to raise £1,000 for charity.
He said: "I didn't expect that kind of entrance to be honest with you, I thought I was just queueing for a phone but it was absolutely mad.
"It was a crazy thing to queue here for a week but it was really good fun, I would definitely do it again, we've raised so much money for Cancer Research UK as well which is absolutely fantastic.
"I was just trying to utilise the fact that there's so much publicity around iPhone queueing, so if we could build on that and raise money for charity at the same time, we were doing it for a good cause."
The new phone, which is thinner and lighter than previous models and can use the newly-announced 4G network, costs from £529, with the 32GB model selling for £599 and the 64GB version costing £699.
Henry Moulton, 18, was fifth in line and the third to get his hands on the new product's Sim-free version.
Mr Moulton, who is just about to start university studies in IT and business, said the atmosphere at the store was "electric".
"Everyone is ecstatic about the new iPhone, everyone is excited and the Apple employees are clapping, whooping, cheering," he said after waiting in the queue since Wednesday afternoon.
Asked about Apple's appeal, Mr Moulton, from Wimbledon, south London, said it was all down to "really great products".
He said: "I think it's the way Apple can balance ease of use with top notch features, they know not to go for feature overkill and add things which people may not use.
"They keep it really easy to use with a simple interface, really quick, snappy and fluid and you can just navigate around it really quickly."
Apple fans are now looking forward to using the new 4G network - which offers speeds up to five times faster than 3G.
With 4G, users get uninterrupted access to the web on the go, high-definition films to be downloaded in minutes and TV to be streamed without buffering.
The battle for domination of the mobile and tablet market has become increasingly heated recently with Apple's competitors taking it on with a series of new products.
Nokia and Microsoft recently joined forces to launch two new phones which will run on the Windows operating system.
And online retailer Amazon unveiled new models of its Kindle Fire tablets, which were previously not for sale in the UK, and are seen as rivals to Apple's best-selling iPad.
Life & Style blogs
Doctors are allowed to have personal beliefs, just as long as these beliefs do not interfere with th...
BBC journalist Justin Webb talks about his experiences of the advances in preventing heart attacks a...
Plus the Property Power 100, and the best day to sell your home
The 10 Best Scotch Whiskies
Meet David Karp, the 26-year-old high school dropout worth $275m after selling Tumblr to Yahoo
Xbox 720 and PS4 go head to head: Speculation rife ahead of Microsoft launch - and rumour mill goes into overdrive
Masculinity in crisis? 'There is a battle going on inside us that is never discussed'
Virtually Stephen Fry: Star launches (possibly) the world's most self-regarding app
- 1 Austerity has hardened the nation's heart
- 2 Tottenham to smash pay scale with £150,000-a-week contract in attempt to tie Gareth Bale to club
- 3 Strewth mate. Aussies wave goodbye to Britain as it becomes too pricey to stay
- 4 Be more professional! GCHQ staff rapped as WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange reveals messages that he says point to 'fit up'
- 5 Join Ryanair! See the world! But we'll only pay you for nine months a year
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£475 - £476 per day + negotiable: Progressive Recruitment: SAP SD Contract Con...
£40000 - £47000 per annum + BENEFITS : Progressive Recruitment: Sap Consultant...
£60000 - £70000 per annum: Progressive Recruitment: Your technical knowledge o...
£50000 - £58000 per annum + Benefits and Bonus: Progressive Recruitment: SAP F...