|Apple iPhone 5|
Buyers lined up overnight in Australia while in Hong Kong they signed up online for a chance to get their hands on the new iPhone 5. In Singapore, Singtel says 68,000 people have registered their interest in Apple's latest handset. Starhub and M1 also reported strong demand for the phone.
The smartphone is also being launched in the US, UK, Canada, France and Germany on Friday.
It will go on sale in 22 more countries a week later. Apple received 2 million orders for the iPhone 5 in the first 24 hours, more than twice the number for the iPhone 4S when that phone launched a year ago. Some analysts expect Apple to sell up to 10 million iPhone 5 models in the remaining days of September.
The iPhone is Apple's highest-margin product and accounts for half of its annual revenue. Apple has said it will make initial deliveries of the iPhone 5 on Friday in the United States and most of the major European markets, such as France, Germany and the United Kingdom. The phone then goes on sale on September 28 in 22 other countries.
Apple plans to sell the new phone in 100 countries by the end of the year.
As popular as iPhone is — selling more than 25 million handsets worldwide last quarter alone (and iPhone 5 pre-orders topping 2 million in its first 24 hours) — they're not the only game in town. In fact, many of today's Android phones can outperform iPhone 5, feature for feature, plus Google's mobile platform is far less restrictive than Apple's iOS. Microsoft and Research in Motion are also cooking up some compelling iPhone alternatives with its Windows Phone 8 and BlackBerry 10 OS smartphones, respectively.
Apple's newest iPhone launched on Friday has a host of design and technology improvements: it is lighter, slimmer, faster and more powerful, and has improved battery life and a bigger display likely to please its loyal customer base.
It’s hard to believe a phone so thin could offer so many features: a larger display, a faster chip, the latest wireless technology, an 8MP iSight camera, and more. All in a beautiful aluminum body designed and made with an unprecedented level of precision. iPhone 5 measures a mere 7.6 millimeters thin and weighs just 112 grams. That’s 18 percent thinner and 20 percent lighter than iPhone 4S. The only way to achieve a design like this is by relentlessly considering (and reconsidering) every single detail — including the details you don’t see.
The new phone has a larger, 4-inch screen and is slimmer and far lighter than the previous model. The iPhone 5 supports the faster 4G network and also comes with a number of software updates, including Apple's new in-house maps feature.
The new maps feature, however has been criticised by some users for a number of geographical errors, missing information and a lack of features.
The latest iPhone comes as competition in the smartphone market has reached a fever pitch with Apple up against phones that run on Google Inc's Android software. Android has become the most-used mobile operating system in the world, while Apple's key supplier and rival, Samsung Electronics, has taken the lead in smartphone sales.