The iPhone may be five years old, but it still knows how to draw a crowd. Early Friday morning, hundreds of people queued up at many Apple (s aapl) retail stores around the world for the chance to be one of the first to emerge clutching an iPhone 5 box. Despite some some serious concerns about the phone’s new mapping software expressed Wednesday and Thursday, Friday’s iPhone 5 launch looked to be business as usual for an iPhone debut.
Reports are pouring in Friday morning from reporters who ventured to inspect the lines.
- Ten minutes before the doors of New York City’s Fifth Avenue Apple Store, Fortune counted 820 people in line.
- CNET said there were about 700 people queued up in front of Apple’s retail store in the shadow of the Paris Opera House even after the doors had opened.
- Tokyo’s Ginza district also saw “hundreds” of people waiting outside Apple’s store early this morning, according to the Huffington Post.
- And once again in San Francisco, the big story about the line-waiters this year is the “Task Rabbits,” hundreds of folks who were paid to save line spots for those either too sleepy or too busy to claim a spot overnight. (via Bloomberg)
That’s just a sampling of the line situation so far this morning. But those in-person sales worldwide, combined with the online orders Apple has already taken — some 2 million iPhones were pre-ordered in the first 24 hours last week — mean this is shaping up to be the biggest iPhone sales debut yet.
Pictured above: the line outside Philadelphia’s Walnut Street Apple Store Friday morning.