Thousands of Apple addicts have been queueing at Greater Manchester’s major shopping centres since 5am today as the tech giant launch the new iPhone 5s/5c.
At last year’s launch of the iPhone 5 police were called to Manchester’s Arndale Centre at 4.45am after a congregation of 250 people became unruly.
A series of fights began to break out as people vied for the best position in the queue.
This year’s launch has caused more suspense for fans after rumours that new stock may be in limited supply. Despite this, shopping centres confirmed they were confident that order would be maintained.
A Manchester Arndale spokesman said: “At major launches we always have a well-rehearsed plan.
“Queuing will begin on Thursday evening and will be manned by additional security from the Apple store.”
The intu Trafford Centre also verified that security was a top priority following on from previous years.
“Last year they queued from midnight and it was really busy,” a representative said.
“For the forthcoming release we have 24hour manned security.”
Not to be deterred by the queues, many are still expected to attend the launch as they try to be the first to get their hands on Apple’s new product.
Olivia Shorrock from Stockport said: “I shall be waiting outside the Manchester store at 6am, if not earlier. I don’t want to risk missing out.
“I’m a massive Apple fan. I always have to buy the latest products as soon as they come out.”
On September 10 Apple announced they would be releasing two newer models of the iPhone to the delight of many worldwide.
It was also revealed one phone would be a much-rumoured discount model. The new ‘affordable’ handset will start at £469.
Some people took to social networks to mock all the attention that Apple is getting. Twitter user, Sean Marshall, said: “I think queuing for a product like phones and games at midnight is pretty sad really.”
Another user, Daniel Ingram, said: “I think people who are queuing up have really lost the plot.”
On Tuesday, many stores throughout Manchester had midnight openings as the newest Grand Theft Auto game was released.
Some stores who did not open their doors at midnight were met with bustling queues the next morning.
A Greater Manchester Police spokesman confirmed they would be keeping an eye on the queues in case similar incidents to last year occured.
The intu Trafford Centre have confirmed that car parks will be open to the public from 5am and customers are advised to start queuing after this time.
For more information call Apple customer services on 0845 600 1683 or intu Trafford Centre customer services on 0161 749 1720
Image courtesy of Neil P Cronin, with thanks.