Apple's Asian fans jammed the tech juggernaut's shops in Australia, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore to pick up the latest version of its iPhone.
Buyers lined up overnight in Australia while in Hong Kong they signed up online for a chance to get their hands on the new iPhone 5.
The smartphone is also being launched in the US, UK, Canada, France and Germany on Friday.
It will go on sale in 22 more countries a week later. Apple received 2 million orders for the iPhone 5 in the first 24 hours, more than twice the number for the iPhone 4S when that phone launched a year ago.
Analysts have estimated Apple will ship as many as 10 million iPhone 5s by the end of September.