If you were wondering when to join the queue for the iPhone 5, you are already too late to be at the head of the queue in Apple's Central London stores. At least it looks like the rain will hold off in London until Friday, which is good news for queuers. 

If you don't fancy camping, you could risk turning up on the day of the launch, although Apple may run out of iPhone 5 smartphones (pre-orders for the iPhone 5 have already sold out). Apple Stores around the world will open at 8am on Friday for the launch of the iPhone 5

Apple appears to be having trouble keeping up with demand for the iPhone - shipping estimates for pre-orders have now slid to 3-4 weeks. 

Apple states on its website that you will be able to “Buy iPhone 5 at your favourite Apple Retail Store from 8:00 am on 21 September. We can help you choose the right tariff and get you up and running”

Apple may not be able to fulfill that promise in Paris: the two Paris Apple Stores are threatening to strike over pay and access to drinking water.

Of course, queues have already formed outside Apple Stores at Covent Garden and Regent Street in London.

IBTimes reports that the queues are made up of customer experience researchers and people promoting charitable causes. Macworld UK recognizes at least one familiar face from the line up outside the Regent Street store.

Two campers took up their position outside the Covent Garden Apple Store earlier this week and are hoping to raise money for Cancer Research UK. Fundraisers Ryan Williams and Peter King from Kent will auction off one of their iPhone 5 for the charity. They are documenting their iPhone 5 queue experience here.

So far the duo have raised more than £232 in donations on the JustGiving website. The iPhone that they will buy is currently going for £410 on eBay.

Apple is opening five new Apple Stores on Friday to coincide with the launch of the iPhone 5, reports Macrumours.

The new stores include:

Valladolid, Spain

Sindelfingen, Germany

Dijon, France

Bakersfield, California

Lonato, Italy

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