The launch: “incredible” demand, Tim Cook & Co. at Palo Alto store, line vids the world over

iPhone 5s launch in munich

If it is Friday, you must be standing in line for the new iPhones. As the iPhone 5c officially hits stores and the iPhone 5s opens for both pre-sales and retail customers, Apple describes the rush to own the new smartphones as “incredible.” From a Silicon Valley appearance by CEO Tim Cook to Hong Kong’s own gold rush, talk of a down-and-out Apple is forgotten amid the lines and excited iPhone fanatics.

Acknowledging to AllThingsD that some models of iPhone 5s are “sold out or in limited supply,” Apple reportedly is asking its suppliers to increase production by a third.

Gold is in – particularly when it comes to Apple’s just-released iPhone 5s…

Citing “people familiar with the situation”, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that the company “after seeing strong demand” is asking Asian suppliers to boost production of the iPhone 5s by one-third additional handsets.

Among that demand is Hong Kong, which apparently has fallen in love with the gold iPhone 5s.

“Hong Kong has always been a major iPhone market for consumers in mainland China who want to get a hold of new models at the same time as the global launch,” reports the Journal.

In past years, new iPhones appeared in Hong Kong “months before they came to mainland China.”

At one Hong Kong Apple store, a line of customers stretched around the building, seemingly longer than last year’s wait for the iPhone 5.

The iPhone 5c does not seem to be taking the edge off demand for the more expensive handset. Although the smartphone is available in many colors, customers told the newspaper the gold metallic casing of the iPhone 5s is more attractive.

In New York, by 8:45 a.m. Friday more than 1,400 consumers had lined up in front of Apple’s Fifth Ave. store, requiring a seven-minute wait just to get inside, according to Fortune. “Everybody we asked was hoping to buy an iPhone 5s. Or two,” writes Philip Elmer-DeWitt.

On the other side of the US, Apple executives spanned out among California iPhone buyers. CEO Tim Cook appeared at the Palo Alto University Apple Store, while iTunes chief Eddy Cue and marketing head Phil Schiller spoke to shoppers waiting at the company’s new retail store in the Stanford Shopping Center, according to 9to5Mac.

Tim Cook at Palo Alto store 002Tim Cook at Palo Alto store 001

In Europe, the gold-colored iPhone 5s sold out at Apple’s Regent Street store with 2,000 people lined up in Munich, according to Bloomberg. The only short lines seemed to be in Beijing, where customers had to make online reservations.

This iPhone launch marks the first time customers in China won’t have to wait for three months to buy new iPhones. The switch was partly due to Apple’s desire to attract China Mobile, the world’s largest carrier.

But for those not wanting to deal with lines and all the retail headache, there can even be antacid moments online. While online orders are available for the iPhone 5s, shipping times have slipped 10 days into October.

Here’s De-Witt walking the line at Apple’s Fifth Avenue store.

Although Apple has yet to announce any specific pre-sale or sales figures yet, one analyst forecasts up to 6 million new iPhones could be sold over the weekend, according to AppleInsider. We may hear Monday from Apple on whether that is right.

Here’s the iPhone 5s/5c double unboxing vid.

How does the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c presales compare to the iPhone 5? When the iPhone 5 launched, Apple announced presales of 2 million iPhones in the first 24 hours “shattered” the previous record held by the iPhone 4S.

And here’s your first (and pointless) iPhone 5s/5c “drop test”.

Just as this year, customers hoping to grab an iPhone 5 lined up early in front of Apple’s New York City store. This year, with China being on par with other launch nations, we should learn the impact the world’s largest group of consumers has on sales of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c.

More line videos from around the world, via Fortune:

New York

A new iPhone can still draw a crowd – doomed, indeed!

Next week should provide us with some jaw-dropping sales numbers.

Cody has already bought his gold iPhone 5s while Sebastien and Jeff went with the more subdued Space Gray variant.

Jeff has a clip up covering his early iPhone 5s impressions and a detailed video walkthrough of the iPhone 5s Touch ID sensor. Do check back throughout the day as the iDB team shares additional thoughts and hands-on impressions.

Image top of post: Apple’s retail store this morning in Münich, Germany.

If you’ve captured a nice line vid or snapped a photo depicting the crowd, feel free to drop them at and I may updated the article with your best work.