Thousands of people across the US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and the UK have started lining up for Apple's iPhone 5. The queues, with some people camping out for days, mark the beginning of Apple's latest global rollout. After more than two million pre-orders within the first 24 hours of availability and record breaking AT&T sales, the iPhone 5 has continued a trend of consumer excitement for Cupertino's smartphone.

Year on year, countless numbers of Apple fans queue for hours at a time — often in the dark — to be one of the first to experience the latest must have gadget. This year is no different, despite a controversial Maps change in iOS 6 and a underlying feeling that the iPhone 5 could be a little boring. Moderate Wall Street predictions see Apple shifting five or six million iPhone 5's this weekend, while others say the company could sell 10 million by the end of the month — either way, it's likely to be the most successful iPhone launch yet.

Queues have begun and The Verge readers have been tweeting us pictures of lines around the world, from Birmingham in the UK, to Penrith in Australia, and Germany. The queues for Apple's iPhone are a truly global phenomenon not witnessed regularly by other rival products, and ones that involve thousands of people. If there's a takeaway from today's launch events, it's that Apple's iPhone will continue to sell in the millions until a rival smartphone can generate this type of spectacle on a global scale. That's not going to be easy for another company to establish.