A crowd queues for iphone 5 launch at 8am. Click for more photos

Canberrans queue for the iPhone 5

A crowd queues for iphone 5 launch at 8am. Photo: Larrisa Nicholson

  • A crowd queues for iphone 5 launch at 8am.
  • Jeremy Philp of Gilmore was first in line.
  • Adam Cashmere, Kaye Cougarman and Jeremy Philp were the first three in line this morning.
  • Brian Zhu with his new iphone.
  • A crowd queues for iphone 5 launch at 8am.
  • Jeremy Philp of Gilmore, first in line.
  • Crowds queue for the iphone 5.

A night out in the elements paid off for Jeremy Philp.

The bank worker from Gilmore was first in line to get his hands on the new iPhone 5, starting the queue outside Canberra Centre at 1am this morning.

Mr Philp said he got to Civic early because he was too excited about the new phone to sleep.

At 1.05am he was joined by fellow iPhone enthusiast Kaye Cougarman, of Queanbeyan, and then at 1.30am by Adam Cashmere of Belconnen.

‘‘I was actually going to rock up earlier, but it was raining, and I wanted to tell my partner that I was one of the first to get it, because he’s a really big Apple nerd and he ordered his online,’’ Ms Courgarman said.

The three held each others’ place in line while they went on coffee runs, and Mr Cashmere said while they did not know each other before this morning, they had struck up a friendship talking about ‘‘random’’ things to pass the time.

‘‘I’m the third person in the ACT to get an iPhone 5, the downside is blistering cold and very sore feet,’’ he said.

The doors to the new Apple store opened at 8am and staff applauded the first round of more than 300 enthusiastic customers as they walked in.

Among the Canberrans to leave the store with his new smartphone this morning was Brian Zhu, of Harrison. He joined the line at 4am after sheltering from the cold at a nearby McDonalds for several hours.

He was pleased about the improvements to the new model.

‘‘It’s the speed and the screen, and it’s much slimmer,’’ he said.

Downstairs in the centre, close to 50 queued for the iPhone at other phone outlets.

It has become a tradition for Apple lovers around the world to vie to be one of the first to own new products.

The iPhone 5 has a 10.2-centimetre ‘‘retina’’ display, is 20 per cent lighter than the iPhone 4S and will be able to surf the web on high-speed 4G LTE mobile networks offered by Telstra, Optus and Virgin Mobile.

They may be shiny and new, but they come at a price.  The cheapest iPhone 5, with 16 gig of memory, is selling for $799.