Thousands of enthusiastic consumers crowded the stores of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) who want to purchase the new iPhone 5 as the company kicked off its worldwide sales today. As expected, Apple fans did’t mind waiting in line days ahead of the global sales day of the iPhone 5. Obviously, they want to pick up their much awaited Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) smartphone as soon as possible.

iPhone 5 sales
An Asian Showing Her iPhone 5

The first iPhone 5 was rolled out in Australia at 8:00 in the morning (local time) on Friday. According to the report from Wall Street Journal, hundreds of Aussies eager to buy the newest Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) smartphone waited as long as 68 hours at the company’s store located in the Central Business District, Sydney. A representative of the named Todd Foot claimed he was the first person to buy the iPhone 5 globally on September 21.

The second market where the iPhone 5 was launched on Friday was Japan. More than 750 excited Japanese consumers were waiting and chanting minutes prior to the opening of the Apple Store in Tokyo. Softbank Corp, one of the carriers of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) products in Japan set up a digital countdown clock outside its store as hundreds of customers lined up and cheered with Masayoshi Son, CEO of the company as the clock striked zero. The first person to buy the iPhone 5 in Tokyo was Mitsuya Hirosa, a mass communication employee. According to him, the iPhone is part of his life and to be the first person in line means so much to him as an Apple fan. He said, “You never get tired even after using it for a long time, the design is good and easy to use.”

At the Apple store located in the International Finance Center Building, Hong Kong, the atmosphere is calmer. A dozen of security guards controlled more than hundred customers. Only those who made an online reservation for their iPhone 5 were allowed to enter the store one by one escorted by a security staff and store employee. Kevin Tse, a 26-year old employee in an advertising company who owns a Samsung Galaxy S3 decided to buy the iPhone 5 to compare the two devices. He said, “I will see which one is the better phone.”

Just like their fellow Asians, Singaporeans also lined up at the Apple store one night ahead of the global sales day. M1, one of the carriers of Apple products in Singapore launched the iPhone 5 the Paragon Shopping mall and gave goodie bags with water and fan to thousands of consumers. The bags were marked with “I’ve got the iPhone 5 on Singapore’s First Nationwide 4G Network.”

In France, A report from the AFP said the launching of the iPhone 5 could be hindered by a strike after negotiations between Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) management and unions collapsed on Thursday. Apple’s management turned down the union’s request for salary increases as the company lost 10 million euro in its France last year. The Sud union asked the employees of 13 Apple stores in France to stop working on Friday.

Some of the employees of the Apple Store near the Paris Opera said, they will open the store with or without strike. Several employees were wearing green bracelets with the word “believe” as an expression for their support to the union. One of the employees said, “We wear it to show we support the demands being made by the unions. The managers haven’t said anything about this to us. But I’m pretty sure that they are taking note of who is wearing it.”

On Thursday, around 5o people were already in line to purchase the iPhone 5. Sylvain Gautier, a 38-year-old civil servant in Paris, and an avid iPhone fan in the queue said, “They’re smart people. Even if they go on strike they will keep the store open.”

In New York, since 8:00 AM on Monday (September 17) people started lining up outside the Apple store on Fifth Avenue to make sure that will be able to purchase their iPhone 5 devices. Despite the lack of surprise features, Apple has proven that its product is the most sought after smartphone worldwide.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) sold 2 million preorders of iPhone 5 units within the first 24 hours of the during opening sales of the product. Its pre-order sales record beat the record of the iPhone 4S, which sold one million units within the first 24 hours.

Analysts estimated that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) would be able to sell as much as 10 million iPhone 5 units during the weekend launch sale of the product.