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Long queues as new iPhone goes on sale

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The number of people in the queue outside Apple’s Australian flagship store in Sydney’s George Street had passed 1200 when the doors were opened at 8.01am today.

Out walked a Californian named David Rahmimi 15 minutes later, his wallet some $2000 lighter, clutching an iPhone 6 in one hand and an iPhone 6 Plus in the other.

“I’m excited,” he said. “It’s finally a bigger screen from Apple.”

Such is the ritual every September when Apple releases new iPhones, as queues sprout up at stores across Australia. Customers were lining up outside Apple’s Rundle Mall store in Adelaide from yesterday afternoon.

Due to timezone differences, Australians are among the first in the world to get the gadgets every year.

But this year’s release, of two phones with bigger screens, seems to have captured more interest than ever.

Apple says it received four million pre-orders in the first day, up from the previous high of two million for the iPhone 5 two years ago.

The demand was reflected in the Sydney queue, which stretched several blocks further than it did last year.

“It’s exciting, like a festival,” said one queuer, Jin Sik Kim, who had been there for about 22 hours.

Others towards the front of the queue said they’d been there for five days.

The two frontrunners, Salvatore Gerace and Christian Ibrahim, had been there for 10.

Others were there for another reason: profit.

Three German backpackers waiting for about 20 hours said they could immediately sell the phones for double their retail price.

The wait was long and cold, but one, Claudius Stocker, said Apple was taking good care of them.

“I’ve eaten more food here than I would have in a normal day.”

Queues will likely spring up again in early 2015 when Apple releases its next big thing: the Apple Watch.

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