Today's Tech: Fanboys line up for iPhone 5, Apple promises to "improve" maps, BlackBerry service hit with widespread outage

Last week, the iPhone 5 was finally "here", with Apple's blockbuster 12 September announcement over in San Francisco officially heralding the birth of its new-generation smartphone. Today, at around 08:00 BST, that latest iPhone was officially let loose on the UK, with eager consumers lining the pavements outside of Apple's flagship London stores on Regent Street and in Covent Garden. Many were sporting the kind of baggy eyelids that hinted at more than a lone night on the asphalt. With nine days between the device’s unveiling and its actual launch, James Laird likened the iPhone 5’s recent evolution to a coming-of-age drama. Whether or not you get his elaborate metaphor is one thing – but can you deny his assertion that today was the fanboys’ crowning moment of glory?

Also in Cupertino-centric news, Apple’s maps app disaster has reached meme-level backlash, with users complaining widely about its inaccuracies and overall poor quality. So far, the lack of public transport navigation and ridiculously misplaced cities and landmarks have been the primary targets of the very public disappointment - in one particularly unbelievable example, the app placed Berlin all the way in Antarctica. But the company has replied to the outrage, promising that it will “improve” the software over time. Follow the link for more details about Apple’s official response, in the wake of the iPhone 5 release.

Joining Nokia and Samsung in the Windows 8 arena, HTC this week announced two forthcoming smartphones that will run on Microsoft’s soon-to-be-released mobile operating system. Alex Colon got his hands on both devices and summed them as follows: “Think of the HTC Windows Phone 8X as the HTC One X or the HTC One S – a premium device made with top-of-the line hardware. Meanwhile, the Windows Phone 8S is more like the HTC One V – attractive in its own right, but less powerful to make it less costly.” Click through for a closer look at how the two handsets stack up and, if you’re so inclined, consider signing up for a pre-order.

After a year of rather morbid headlines, BlackBerry manufacturers Research In Motion could do with some positive press. But the financially-stricken firm has suffered a global outage, leaving customers across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa without access to their emails and text messages. "As far as we can tell all Blackberry services have gone down. This is a RIM issue and is affecting all devices across all networks," a Vodafone accounts manager told reporters. To say the least, the Canadian company could benefit from a few less incidents like this ahead of its forthcoming BlackBerry 10 launch next year...