20/09/2012 16:12 BST | Updated 20/11/2012 10:12 GMT

Apple Releases iPhone 5 To Huge Crowds Around UK (PHOTOS) (VIDEO)

Apple will release the iPhone 5 on Friday as to the delight of huge waiting crowds around the UK.

At 8am UK time the iPhone 5 will go on sale at Apple's retail outlets, as well as many network carriers and mobile phone stores.

The phone was announced last week, to wide acclaim from reviewers.

Featuring a taller screen, a radically lighter and thinner design and a new version of its iOS operating system, the new iPhone also has a more powerful processor and a smaller dock connector.

The new phone costs £529 for the 16GB unlocked version, up to £699 for the 64GB edition. It is available at a significant discount on contract, through only Orange and T-Mobile will be able to offer 4G LTE data once its sister network EE launches next month.

Apple's launch has also been marred by huge criticism over its new built-in Maps application.

The new App - which ditches Google's mapping service for its own customised version - features listings for long-extinct shops and restaurants while lacking even basic labels for major towns, including Stratford Upon Avon.

Apple has not commented on the furore surrounding its new Maps app, but users are hoping for swift updates to resolve the issue.