iPhone 5 launches in mainland China and Taiwan today,

While the iPhone 5's been out for some time already, it wasn't until today that our friends in China and Taiwan (along with many other countries) can finally buy the device locally. Since midnight local time, several carriers and shops welcomed customers with balloons, drinks and even musical performance. But in the case of Apple Stores in China, the lines were much shorter than before as interested buyers have to first make an online reservation, before trekking to the stores once they are notified -- a policy no doubt welcomed by residents of bitterly cold Beijing at this time of the year. On top of that, both China Unicom and China Telecom are simultaneously offering the iPhone 5 -- with WCDMA or CDMA radio, respectively -- alongside several tariff options. In China, the unsubsidized iPhone 5 starts from ¥5,288 or about $850.

Our brethren in Taipei went to check out the various shops today and saw warm reception for the iPhone 5 launch as well, with Chunghwa Telecom getting the most attention, followed by local resellers Studio A and Data Express. Including tax, the Taiwanese iPhone 5 starts from NT$21,900 or about $750 unsubsidized. More pics after the break.

iPhone 5 launches in mainland China and Taiwan today, lines show up as usual

Studio A's line for iPhone 5 in Taipei.

iPhone 5 launches in mainland China and Taiwan today, lines show up as usual

Data Express in Taipei.

iPhone 5 launches in mainland China and Taiwan today, lines show up as usual

China Unicom's Shenzhen launch for the iPhone 5.

iPhone 5 launches in mainland China and Taiwan today, lines show up as usual

Sina Tech's photo of the iPhone 5 launch at the Beijing Wangfujing Apple Store this morning.

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iPhone 5 launches in mainland China and Taiwan today, lines show up as usual