MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami/AP) – The iPhone 5 frenzy is reaching a fevered pitch Friday as Apple fans jam stores across South Florida and around the world to pick up the tech juggernaut’s latest iPhone.
Eager buyers formed long lines Friday at Apple Inc. stores including those in South Florida, to be the first to get their hands on the latest version of the smartphone.
The smartphone went on sale in the U.S. and Canada at 8 a.m., hours after its launch in Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Britain, France and Germany. It will launch in 22 more countries a week later.
The iPhone also sells at Best Buy, Radio Shack, Target, Wal-Mart, and AT&T, Verizon and Sprint retail outlets.
The iPhone 5 is thinner, lighter, has a taller screen, faster processor, updated software and can work on faster “fourth generation” mobile networks.
In his review on CNET.com, Scott Stein calls the latest iteration “the iPhone we’ve wanted since 2010, adding long-overdue upgrades like a larger screen and faster 4G LTE in a razor-sharp new design. This is the iPhone, rebooted.”
The drawbacks for Stein? “Sprint and Verizon models can’t use voice and data simultaneously. The smaller connector renders current accessories unusable without an adapter.”
The handset has become a hot seller despite initial lukewarm reviews and new map software that is glitch-prone. Apple received 2 million orders in the first 24 hours of announcing its release date, more than twice the number for the iPhone 4S in the same period when that phone launched a year ago.
Analysts have estimated Apple will ship as many as 10 million of the new iPhones by the end of September.
At 7 a.m. lines were already around the block at Apple’s N.Y. flagship store on Fifth Avenue.
It was the same scene at the Apple store on Lincoln Road on Miami Beach.
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