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Apple draws crowds worldwide with new iPhone 5; Woz lines up in Brisbane

“Apple Inc’s iPhone 5 hit stores around the globe on Friday, giving the consumer giant a boost ahead of the crucial end-of-year holiday season,” Jane Wardell and Tim Kelly report for Reuters. “The new phone – which was unveiled last week – went on sale across Asia with mobile carriers reporting record demand.”

“‘It’s thin and light. I’ve used Samsung before, but the operation, the feeling, of the iPhone is better,’ said Wataru Saito, a semiconductor engineer who had been queuing in Tokyo since mid-afternoon on Thursday with his suitcase, as he had a flight to catch on Friday,” Wardell and Kelly report. “Apple has booked more than 2 million pre-orders for the device in the first 24 hours, double the first-day sales of the previous iPhone 4S.”

Wardell and Kelly report, “Softbank and Singtel, Singapore’s biggest mobile phone operator, said demand for the iPhone 5 had exceeded previous offerings from Apple, partly because the new phones could work on 4G networks that offered much faster data speeds. KDDI Corp, the other Japanese carrier offering the iPhone, said that it had already run out of the new phone. Australia’s Telstra Corp Ltd reported online pre-orders sold out in a record 18 hours and said it was discussing bi-weekly restocking with Apple.”

“Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, in town for a business forum, was among a crowd of several hundred lining up for an iPhone 5 in sub-tropical Brisbane,” Wardell and Kelly report. “‘I just feel this impulse, like I want to be part of this big adventure, this big revolution and this advance in technology,’ Wozniak, who stopped working for Apple in the late 1980s, told local television.”

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