As expected, Apple’s sixth-generation iPhone is today on sale in the United States and eight international markets (Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore). The handset comes in 16/32/64GB flavors, priced at $199/$299/$399 with a two-year contract with your wireless operator.

In addition to AT&T, Verizon and Sprint, regional U.S. telcos C Spire and Alaska’s GCI and Appalachian Wireless announced plans to carry the iPhone 5, in addition to prepaid carrier Cricket Wireless.

As was the case with past launches, contract-free versions are expected to be available at a later stage in the U.S., unlike some international markets where carriers either choose or are mandated by law to provide contract-free alongside subsidized units. Here are some nice launch day photos…

The iPhone 5 is estimated to cost carriers an estimated $10 billion in upfront subsidy.

Apple started accepting pre-orders for the iPhone 5 on September 14 at 12:01am.


Remember this dude?

The company quickly burned through the initial supply, saying it was “blown away” by customer demand and confirming it took two million pre-orders in the first 24 hours.

As seen in the below clip, the iPhone 5 launch drew big crowds outside Apple’s flagship glass cube on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue.

Apple’s stock crossed $700 following record pre-orders. Analysts are expecting sales of as much as ten million iPhone 5 units by the end of September.

The worlds first iPhone 5 went on sale in Tokyo, Japan. Check out how fans there went crazy and nuts for it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8oU2MgAW98

The handset is expected to pass 20 million Galaxy SIII sales and retake its status of America’s best-selling smartphone, conceded to Samsung in August.


The iPhone 5 boxes at FedEx’s distribution center. Image via Reddit.

First reviews are largely positive. Reviewers praise the device’s build quality, speedy wireless and cellular networking, its taller display and especially its light and thin enclosure.


Apple co-founder and everyone’s favorite geek, Steve Wozniak, showed up for the iPhone launch at Apple’s Brisbane store. Photo: Patria Jannides for News.com.au.

The Verge, which took the iPhone 5 to Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, stressed that one can only begin to appreciate the device when held in hand.

While the basic design of the phone mimics the look of the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S, the actual components, materials, sizing, and weight make it seem like another device entirely… When running graphically-intensive games, there are clearly some improvements in frame rates, as well as a noticeable lack of stutter on the iPhone 5.

And thanks to the twice as fast A6 chip, the iPhone 5 runs smoothly and shows no laginess.

General multitasking and app performance was superb. In particular, the new Maps 3D Flyover view pushed the phone hard, and the differences between the older and newer models was clear.

Basically — there’s not much to complain about when it comes to speed on the new phone. It’s really, really fast.

Here’s a quick video by The Verge.

Strong demand is evident in pushing estimate which at the U.S. online Apple Store still sat at 3-4 weeks at press time.

The iPhone turned five this summer and is now a familiar brand so now wonder 80 percent of our polled readers chose to have the iPhone 5 delivered at their doorstep.


Dude checks out the iPhone 5 at Apple’s store in Hong Kong. Image via USA Today.

Here’s your unboxing video.

However, with online availability still dwindling,  your best bet may be to simply waltz inside a retail store.

The phone is now available in the U.S. from the Apple Online Store, Apple’s retail stores and through AT&T, Sprint, Verizon Wireless and select Apple Authorized Resellers.

As we reported, the iPhone 4S now costs just $99 and the iPhone 4 is a free play, both with a two-year contract. The iPhone 3GS is no longer being offered.

The iPhone 5 will roll out worldwide to 22 more countries on September 28: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.


One of the interesting characters waiting in line in Japan. Image via Instagram.

Apple promised to make the device available across a hundred carriers worldwide by December.

Did you get yours already?

Will you be standing in line today?

If you have some nice lice pictures, email them to dujkan [at] idownloadblog [dot] com and I’ll update this article accordingly.