iPhone 5 Release Leads to Long Lines at Apple Stores; Mapping Feature Flawed

By , Updated Sep 21, 2012 12:14 PM EDT

Long lines greet the Apple's iPhone 5 as it hit stores around the world. Demand for iPhone 5 will be strong in spite of the flaws in its mapping services.

Apple fans from Australia and Japan were the first to lay hands on the next-generation device. In Sydney, hundreds of people turned out to buy the new device. Many of them had camped near the store since Tuesday.

The Wall Street Journal reported about online betting sites in Australia taking bets on the length of the queue and what might be the apps people would download.

Two million plus pre-orders were placed for iPhone 5 within the first 24 hours, which is double the first-day sales compared with its predecessor, iPhone 4S, Reuters has reported.

Analysts predict that there will be about ten million iPhone 5 sales in September alone. The new iPhone has a bigger 4-inch screen, is lighter and slimmer. It will support 4G and runs on iOS 6 which comes with the new pre-installed maps feature.

The controversy over Apple's maps is widening with complaints pouring in from around the world.

"The people who thought the world was flat were more accurate cartographers than Apple Maps," @RayneBradley said on Twitter.

Others complained that the new maps do not feature information on the public transit which Google maps do.

"We are continuously improving it, and as Maps is a cloud-based solution, the more people use it, the better it will get. We're also working with developers to integrate some of the amazing transit apps in the App Store into iOS Maps," Trudy Muller Apple spokeswoman said. "We appreciate all of the customer feedback and are working hard to make the customer experience even better."

But this has not stopped Apple enthusiasts from buying the new smartphone.

"It's lighter than I thought it'd be and the screen is big. It's easy to hold," said Tokyo resident Mitsuya Hirosa, who was one of the first standing in the line.

iPhone 5 is hitting the stores in the U.S., the UK, Canada, France and Germany Friday and a week later in 22 more countries.

Samsung planned to add iPhone 5 to its list of patent infringements on Thursday. Apple and Samsung are locked in heated court battles around the world. Samsung released an ad mocking people who stood in queue to buy iPhone 5.

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