Today was the day Apple fans have been waiting for: the iPhone 5 is finally here. Many of those queuing outside Apple Stores across the globe have been there for days, some weeks, to be one of the first to get their hands on the latest Apple device.

Here, we bring you a view from the queue, and the smiles on the faces of those patient Apple fans as they walk out of the Apple Store with the iPhone 5 in hand.

Above: The crowds outside Regent Street's Apple Store on Thursday evening, when there was just one night to go before the iPhone 5 went on sale.

And here's the dedicated group outside the Covent Garden Store on Thurdsay. At this point, the queue was about 100 people long.

This is what the Covent Garden Store queue looked like on Friday morning
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There was even an enormous queue at the Bluewater Apple Store, where one of our reporters lined up this morning - only to be told the phone he wanted (16GB) was out of stock.

First in line at Covent Garden was Ryan Williams, who queued with his friend Peter King in aid of Cancer Research. They auctioned off their iPhone 5 on eBay, with the winning bid at £1,070. They also have a JustGiving page here.

Richard Wheatcroft and George Horne queued for almost eight days outside the Regent Street Apple Store to raise money for Wheatcroft's Crowd Fuelled Causes which aims to help vulnerable women.

In third and fourth place in the queue at Regent Street were queuing pros Zohalib Ali and Ali Tarighi. Zohalib was first in the queue for the New iPad (iPad 3) launch.

Patrick Mella (in black) joins another seasoned Apple launch attendee 



Eamon and Ben were third and fourth in the queue at Covent Garden, having waited for about 45 hours for the iPhone 5.

Fifth and sixth were first time queuers Henry and Harry, who queued for around 40 hours in total. Read more about these guys in our Covent Garden interviews.

Press crowded outside the Regents Street Apple Store to capture the action as the first iPhone 5s were purchased.

Apple Store staff line the staircase to welcome the first iPhone 5 customers.

Apple Store staff cheer as they open the store to allow the first customers inside.

Outside the Covent Garden Store as it's about to open.

Patrick Mella was fifth in the queue, but first out of the Apple Store with his new iPhone 5

Second in the queue George Horne, helping his friend raise awareness and funds for his charity

First in line, Richard Wheatcroft hopes to make a bit of money for his social enterprise CrowdFuelled, which aims to raise money to help vulnerable women.  

Richard and George with their iPhone 5's after more than a week of waiting.

Place your bids on eBay to buy the phone and contribute to Wheatcroft's charity.

It had been a long night...

The Regent Street queue that just wouldn't end 

Ryan emerges with the first iPhone 5 from the Apple Store in Covent Garden.

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