Amelia Wade is a court reporter for the New Zealand Herald

Fans hungry for bite at new Apples

Big queues tipped for midnight launch of iPhone 5s and 5c as latest iPads unveiled

Hundreds are expected to line up today to be among the first in New Zealand to buy the new iPhones.

At midnight, the iPhone 5s and the 5c models go on sale and one expert predicts big sales even though they aren't vastly different from their predecessor, the iPhone 5. Apple also unveiled its new-generation iPads yesterday, an event met with a lot of hype in technology circles.

Both of New Zealand's biggest telecommunications companies, Vodafone and Telecom, are holding day-long events today in the lead-up to the launch of the new phones at 12.01am, including special guests and a onesie pyjama party.

The first 18 buyers to register at Vodafone's Viaduct Harbour offices will get their own "VIP tent", complete with butler service, refreshments, a survival kit and priority service. And to avoid queue fatigue, entertainment will be provided by a range of sports and media personalities, as well as live performances from Titanium, Jupiter Project and DJ Thieves.

Launch events for the iPhones will also be held in Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin from 6pm.

A spokeswoman said Vodafone expected a couple of hundred people to queue - the same as before the launch of the iPhone 5 last year.

Consumer NZ technology writer Hadyn Green predicted a lot of interest even though the devices weren't much different from the last models.

"It's the best iPhone out there at the moment. And people think iPhones are more different and more special ... Anything else is just a smartphone. Also, they look really cool - they're fantastically designed. They're a status symbol so you get huge sales."

But he expected more excitement about the new iPads and Macbooks Apple announced yesterday.

On the way are thinner, faster, lighter versions of the iPad tablet - the iPad Air - and a new-generation of the iPad Mini.

- NZ Herald

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