First Apple iPhone 5 Preorders Begin Shipping From China; Enthusiasts Start Camping Outside Flagship Apple Stores

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By Valli Meenakshi Ramanathan | September 17, 2012 5:40 PM EST

As the launch date for Apple iPhone 5 comes closer, customers who placed the first preorders for the iPhone 5 are noticing updates that point to their orders being shipped from China, AppleInsider reported.

Reportedly, a delivery update from UPS notes that shipment began transit Sunday and delivery has started from ZhengZhou, China.

Even MacRumors confirmed that several readers reported that shipments had commenced from China. Earlier, it was a common practice for Apple to issue instructions to local warehouses to spread out the preorder delivery or withhold deliveries at local warehouses until the target date. 

However, with the iPhone 5, the delivery date for the first preorders is set for Friday. And for those who are keen to learn their tracking number from Apple, they may learn about it from the UPS website, MacRumors stated.

It is said that Apple employs both UPS and FedEx in its supply chain. A MacRumors Forum posting shares the steps involved in tracking the iPhone 5 shipment by either UPS or FedEx.

In an attempt to know more about the date of manufacture, enthusiasts are decoding serial numbers. Reportedly, the earliest manufacture date points to Aug. 5-11. And those who placed preorders on can locate their device serial number in on the "Support Profile" page of the company website.

Publications including Fortune note that enthusiasts have started queuing up at the New York City Fifth Avenue Apple store. Reportedly, those spotted seem to be present for promotional purposes rather than personal purchase.

Even in the UK, MailOnline reported Friday that people commenced camping outside the company's flagship store on London's Regent Street since Thursday.

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