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Launch Day: Apple iPhone 5 Around the World

In case you’ve been sleeping under a rock, or hadn’t noticed because you have better things to do with your life, Apple unleashed Cupertino’s latest on the world today, the iPhone 5. In cities around the world, line-ups started forming as much as eight days ago for those eager to be among the first to get their hands on the new phone.

With strong demand for the new phone up 70% over the previous version, investors were bullish on Wall Street and Apple (AAPL) was up over $700 for the day to close at $702. Analysts estimate the new iPhone 5 could inject as much as $3.2 billion into the US economy over the next quarter.

G’day, Mate!

In Sydney, Australia, Todd Foot (24) camped out for 3 days to the be the first person in a line of about 600 to officially get his hands on the new iPhone 5. Customers in Sydney were limited to 2 phones per customer.

In Hong Kong, it was cash only for the most part as buyers needed to give their security number. This was to ensure Chinese nationals were not buying the phone to smuggle back into mainland China and sell for a profit.

Launch Day: Apple iPhone 5 Around the World

Carriers in Singapore, Japan, and Australia have already sold out of their shipments and are awaiting further shipments from Apple to replenish their stock but with Apple ambitiously planning to open the iPhone 5 to over 100 markets by year’s end, those stocks may replenish more slowly than in years past.

Quel Dommage!

Not everyone was pleased about the new launch. Apple store staff in Paris chose today to stage a walkout protesting “poor working conditions” and “unfair treatment” as other workers in France get bonuses of up to one month’s salary and meal vouchers when working, a practice that Apple does not currently support.

As Apple unleashed the iPhone 5 on the world, Research in Motion (RIM) had to sit back and announce that once again they were having difficulties, experiencing outages in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. Fortunately for RIM, the outages only lasted about 4 hours, but the damage was done as news of this latest disruption spread faster than wildfire.

Launch Day: Apple iPhone 5 Around the World

Police in London, England are looking for a man in connection with the theft of hundreds of iPhone 5s. 252 iPhones were stolen from a South London Apple store in the early morning along with some cash from the store safe. Police suspect an Apple store assistant, along with an accomplice.

Where Am I Now?

In New York, lines were shorter than they were in the past although it’s possible some buyers had upgraded to iOS 6 and simply couldn’t find the store using Apple’s latest mapping software. Hazem Sayed, who had camped in line for 8 days emerged from the Manhattan store less than 10 minutes after opening, proudly holding his new black 64GB iPhone 5.

This phone marks a turning point from Apple. With analysts projecting Apple stock to hit $850, they need to remember how they got here and what they need to do in order to succeed. Releasing half finished apps like Maps and a phone that is playing catch up in the specs department, how long will it be until the world figures out that the latest and greatest from Apple no longer is?

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