Fans queue through the night outside Highcross for new iPhone 5
Gadget fans queued through the night to be among the first to get their hands on the new iPhone 5.
More than a thousand people queued outside Highcross shopping centre to buy the sixth generation of the smartphone, which went on sale at 8am yesterday.
Josh Kimberley, from Lutterworth, was at the front of the queue, after he arrived at the shopping centre at 8pm on Thursday.
The 22-year-old said: "I heard they had sold out of all their pre-order ones on the internet.
"I thought I should get here early to guarantee I got one and I'm not disappointed.
"I've had an iPhone before, but it was the first one and I am definitely in need of an upgrade.
"I wanted one before I started university in Coventry on Monday.
"I will be using it to take photos of my freshers week."
Along with other eager shoppers he was let into the shopping centre at 7am to buy the iPhone 5 at 8am.
Queues snaked out of the Apple Store in the upper mall, down the stairs, out of the shopping centre, past John Lewis and as far back as Causeway Lane.
Second in the queue was masters student Kexin Sun, 34, who lives in the city centre.
He wanted to get one to take back to his home in China.
"I got here at 9pm yesterday," he said."I slept outside Highcross – well, I was trying to, but it was too cold.
"I wanted to get one before I go back to my home country of China.
"I thought I might as well try, and I have been successful. I am very excited and happy."
Jackie Lake, 39, a lifeguard from New Parks, Leicester, took a day off work yesterday to get to grips with her new gadget.
She queued from 11pm on Thursday. "It was quite fun really, the atmosphere was amazing."
Mark Colton, deputy manager at Highcross Leicester, said: "By the time Apple opened this morning, more than a thousand iPhone enthusiasts were at Highcross, with queues reaching as far back as Causeway Lane.
"The centre has remained busy throughout the morning."
Just queuing overnight was not enough for two friends from Leicester who spent a whole week camping outside Apple's main store in Regent Street, London.
Richard Wheatcroft, 30 and George Horne, 23, spent seven days and nights on the street not only to pick up four of the new phones, but mainly to raise awareness for their new organisation, the Hope Boutique Bakery.
They are setting up the social enterprise in London to help vulnerable women get together, build their confidence and learn to bake.
When the doors finally opened yesterday morning they were first and second in the queue.
Richard, originally from Knighton, said: "We weren't doing it because we are Apple freaks but because of the bakery, but we did get ourselves iPhones.
"We also made a film about the experience.
"We started queuing seven days and 15 hours before the launch and the next people joined the queue the following day – they were hardcore Apple fans and didn't like being beaten to it.
"By Thursday morning there were about 40 people and that went up to about 1,000 who spent the last night there. When the doors opened it was a monstrous number of people."
The phone, thinner and lighter than previous models, can use the new 4G network and comes in in 16mb, 32GB and 64GB versions.