Apple fans queue overnight for iPhone

Keen Apple fans have been braving the wind and rain overnight, camping outside London’s Regent Street Apple store to be among the first to get their hands on an iPhone.

Hundreds of customers also queued up in Germany last night, where the iPhone was released at midnight. Customers there who queued for a handset were cheered and applauded by staff as they were allowed to enter the store.

The UK launch will take place at 6.02 pm today, with handsets available from Apple stores and Carphone Warehouse shops. Staff at the London Apple store have been supplying umbrellas to those in the queue, while hot meals have been provided by local Wi-Fi suppliers.

Blogger Nik Fletcher is posting live reports from the queue. He claims that even before the product has launched, there’s some inter-store rivalry erupting. “One slightly amusing, and stress-inducing, moment was when one staff member from a local Carphone Warehouse store came to the queue, berating us that ‘Apple wouldn’t sell us an iPhone tomorrow, until CPW had sold ‘X’ number of units’. We boo-ed him off.”

Apple has sold more than a million iPhone handsets since its launch in June, and has said that it hopes to sell 10 million by the end of 2008.

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