Wait almost over for iPhone buyers
Fans who have queued for days outside the Apple store in central London are set to have their patience rewarded as they become some of the first people to own the new iPhone 5.
The latest Apple phone will be available from 8am on Friday and 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 adding that demand has been so great many customers will not get them until October.
The 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.
The launch of new Apple products traditionally attracts impressive queues at the brand's stores, with first-time campers joining veterans who are willing to sleep rough to be one of the first to own the latest piece of technology.
Eamon Yates, 26, and friend Ben Paton, 25, both employed in the IT industry, are third and fourth in the queue and began camping in the Covent Garden Piazza on Wednesday after booking time off work to do so.
Mr Paton said: "We both work for the same company and we've both taken three days off for this, and I think that's one of the things that a lot of people don't realise. They think you must be on benefits or a bum, but no, no, I've taken time off, I've made the effort, I want to do this, this is what I want to do with my time."
Keen Apple fans will be looking forward to using the 4G network - which offers speeds up to five times faster than 3G - and allows uninterrupted access to the web on the go, high-definition films to be downloaded in minutes and TV to be streamed without buffering.
However, first in the queue, and surprisingly not interested in the above benefits, are Ryan Williams, 22, and Peter King, 19.
The pair, from Kent, will not be buying the new iPhone for themselves as they are instead auctioning off their coveted seats and an iPhone 5 online, with all proceeds going to Cancer Research.
Mr Williams said: "The idea behind this was not to boycott but to shake up the whole Apple queueing system because Apple products generate so much hype and people are prepared to queue a week for the phone just for themselves, so we thought if we get to the front, promote a charity, then this sort of media interest will look to us instead of looking to someone else just queueing up for themselves."