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iPhone 5 available in Ireland from September 28

There were huge queues outside the Apple stores worldwide that began selling the iPhone 5 today.

Customers enter the Apple Store in Covent Garden, London, as the new iPhone 5 goes on sale.
Customers enter the Apple Store in Covent Garden, London, as the new iPhone 5 goes on sale.
Image: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire/Press Association Images

THE WAIT IS almost over – the iPhone 5 will be available in the Republic of Ireland very soon, on 28 September.

We’ll still be a week behind some other countries though, as it went on sale in the US, Australia, France, Germany, UK, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore today.

As anticipated, there were massive queues outside Apple stores for the phone – but there were also protests in some places.

Belfast

RTÉ reports that around 700 people queued at the Apple store in Belfast, which is located in the Victoria Square shopping centre.

In London, some shoppers had camped out for a week in a queue that snaked around the block. In Hong Kong, the first customers were greeted by staff cheering, clapping, chanting “iPhone 5! iPhone 5!” and high-fiving them as they were escorted one-by-one through the front door.

In Paris, the phone launch was accompanied by a workers’ protest — a few dozen former and current Apple employees demonstrated peacefully to demand better work benefits.

But the protesters — urged by a small labour union to demonstrate at Apple stores around France — were far outnumbered by lines of would-be buyers on the sidewalk outside the store near the city’s gilded opera house.

Ireland

Mobile network Three said that customers can pre-order the phone from today, while Meteor, 02 and Vodafone customers can pre-register their interest.

iPhone 5 will be available from Three for a suggested retail price of €149 for the 16GB model, €249 for the 32GB model and from €199 for the 64GB model online on Three.ie and in selected Three stores nationwide.

Overall prices differ according to the plan chosen with the phone. The 64GB version is €349 on the Classic Flex Max plan or €199 on the Ultimate Flex Plan, for example, both of which have different monthly fees, of €40.66 and €96.57 respectively.

Meteor said that approximately 3,000 customers have already completed their online expression of interest form.

“We expect this figure to increase as the launch date draws nearer. Pricing for the iPhone 5 is expected to be confirmed next week,” said a spokesperson.

(Matt Grayson/PA Wire/Press Association Images)

The phone has been getting great reviews from those in the know, with the New York Times noting that many important features – such as the camera and screen – have been upgraded.

However, it also notes that you have to buy an adaptor plug if you want to use the new connector for the iPhone 5 with any of the existing accessories, chargers or docks.

The iPhone 5 is thinner, lighter, has a taller screen, faster processor, updated software and can work on faster “fourth generation” mobile networks.

But Apple’s new mapping software – which replaces the Google Inc maps app that was on the previous phones – has been coming in for some criticism.

Yesterday we showed how errors in the system mislabel parts of Ireland, with the Airfield farm even being designated as an airport.

Read: Oh dear: Apple Maps has made some pretty big mistakes in its Ireland maps>

Read: ‘It’s got lasers’*. Our favourite quotes from iPhone 5 reviews>

Read: Apple gets record 2 million orders for the iPhone 5>

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