People line up in North America, Europe, Asia for new iPhone

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iPhone 5

iPhone 5 (Photo credit: Apple)

HONG KONG (AP) – It’s a familiar scene whenever Apple unveils the latest version of a popular product — and it’s playing out again today around the world. There have been long lines today outside Apple stores in Asia, Europe and North America, as people try to be among the first to get their hands on the new iPhone.

In London, some shoppers camped out for a week in a line that snaked around the block. The first customers in Hong Kong were greeted by cheering and chanting store employees who gave them high-fives.

Japan’s Kyodo News says police in Osaka are investigating the theft of nearly 200 of the new iPhones — more than half of them from one shop. In London, police are looking for a man in connection with the theft of 252 iPhones from a shop in Wimbledon early today.

Many in the crowds in London — largely from the city’s Asian community — were planning to send the phones to family and friends back home as gifts, or sell them in countries where they are much more expensive.

The new iPhone won’t be available for another week in 22 countries. And a release date in China still hasn’t been set.

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