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Apple proves drawing power as crowds line up for new iPhones

The curious people who can afford iPhones, but also don't mind waiting days or hours to buy one

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It’s iPhone day! An international holiday of sorts, where those unable to delay gratification line up overnight (or just early in the morning) to get the very first iPhone their local store will sell them. This year, there are two: the updated 5S and the colourful 5C.

GEORGE FREY/REUTERS

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The Japanese know how to line up. Some of these folks got in costume, they brought furniture... the man pictured above is wearing an old iMac shell on his head as he waits near the Apple Store at Tokyo's Ginza shopping district September 19, 2013, a full day before the phone goes on sale.

Toru Hanai/REUTERS

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In the morning it was even more crowded. Japan is one of the markets Apple is making a major push for this time out.

Toru Hanai/REUTERS

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Kaoru Kato, president and chief executive officer of Japan's biggest mobile phone operator NTT Docomo (which is carrying the iPhone for the first time this year) holds a box of Apple's new iPhone 5S at its shop in Tokyo, September 20, 2013.

YUYA SHINO/REUTERS

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Here, Mr. Kato passes a new Apple iPhone 5S to Kazunori Sato, its first iPhone customer. Quite a ceremony.

YUYA SHINO/REUTERS

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Apple store staff are jazzed about the new phones too. Here they pose with the new Apple iPhone 5S before it goes on sale in Tokyo.

Toru Hanai/REUTERS

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These costumed folks pose with their newly purchased Apple iPhone 5S and 5C after they waited for it since September 16. This is the first 5C we could find photos of someone buying. John Gruber, of the blog Daring Fireball says “The 5S is another engineering triumph for Apple (and no slacker in the fashion/branding game either). The 5C, though, is purely an emotional play — and, I think, a winning one.”

Toru Hanai/REUTERS

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Another thing that happens on iPhone launch day is a teardown by iFixit, as seen here in the handout image released by iFixit.com. Here a new iPhone 5S handset has been opened and the battery removed during a product teardown in Melbourne, Australia September 20, 2013.

HANDOUT/REUTERS

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Among the things iFixit found, “A CMOS chip, the Touch ID is essentially a bunch of very small capacitors that creates an 'image' of the ridges on your finger.”

HANDOUT/REUTERS

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Apple employees applaud as the first customer proudly shows off his new iPhone 5S outside an Apple store in Wangfujing shopping district in Beijing, China on Friday, Sept. 20, 2013. China is another key market Apple is hoping to win with this version of the iPhone.

Andy Wong/AP

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These guys have got supply and demand figured out: Customers in Hong Kong resell the iPhone 5S to dealers for at least $30 more than the original price, outside an Apple store September 20, 2013.

TYRONE SIU/REUTERS

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Apple employees cheer a customer after he bought new iPhone in the Wangfujing shopping district in Beijing. Here’s what some of the tech press think of the phones: “If you like Apple products, you’ll like these; if you don’t, you won’t,” says Rich Jaroslovsky of Bloomberg.

Andy Wong/AP

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The Germans also can build a line: The queue outside an Apple store for the start of the new iPhone sale in Oberhausen, Friday, Sept. 20, 2013. Walt Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal says: “If you are an iPhone fan with any model older than the iPhone 5, the new 5S will be a big step up. If you own an iPhone 5, there’s less of a case for upgrading, unless you want the fingerprint reader and improved camera.”

Frank Augstein/AP

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A customer of the Apple store in Oberhausen celebrates with the new iPhone 5S as he leaves the store. Apple does not recommend spiking your new phone like a football. Perhaps this happy German agrees with Anick Jesdanun of The Associated Press: “Who knew biometric authentication could be such a blast?”

Frank Augstein/AP

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The first two customers in the Covent Garden, London, line were Norman Hicks, left, and Jesse Green, aged 15. Here they high-five each other just before being allowed to enter the Apple Store.

Matt Dunham/AP

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Mr. Hicks bought two phones. As the ceremonial first customer offered up to the British tabloid photographers, he mugged like he just won the lottery.

Matt Dunham/AP

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Second in line, but not second in effort, Mr. Green makes one of several jumps he repeatedly performed for photographers while holding a boxed iPhone 5s. David Pogue, of The New York Times says: “(The) speed of innovation seems to be slowing down, but don’t let that depress you. Focus instead on the silver lining: you can keep your current phone longer without feeling obsolete quite so soon.”

Matt Dunham/AP

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One of the first U.S. customers to purchase the Apple iPhone 5S celebrates after exiting the Apple Retail Store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. If you’re an iPhone owner who is not going to buy a 5S or a 5C, maybe just download iOS 7? “I am already looking forward to downloading the software so I can simulate what it’s like to have a new iPhone for free,” says Michael Liedtke of The Associated Press.

ADREES LATIF/REUTERS

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