iPhone 5 London queue already forms, first in line has never owned Apple product

If you've walked past the flagship Apple Store in Regent Street, London, you will have noticed that a queue for the iPhone 5 has started already. In fact, it started at 6pm yesterday (13 September), a staggering eight days before the phone is due to go on sale.

"Ah but," we hear you say, "those are just sad Apple fanboys. They always camp on the street for a new iDevice." And, yes, in some cases you would be right.

However, in the case of the first in the queue this time around, Richard Wheatcroft, you'd be so very far wide of the mark. Richard isn't an Apple fanboy. Richard has never owned an Apple product before. Never.

Speaking to Pocket-lint, Wheatcroft said he was a perpetual PC and Android phone owner who fancied a change. "It's a time thing," he told us. "It's time for a change."

Richard Wheatcroft, first in the Apple Store, Regent Street queue

He is queuing with friend and colleague George Horne, who is second in the line and documenting their experiences for an online video to be posted soon after, because the two of them are hoping that the media coverage for their participation will help them fund a charitable start-up company they've devised.

The Hope Boutique Bakery will be a pop-up shop appearing in markets around London. It will sell cakes and other bakery related goods, but rather than be profit driven, its aim is to provide a safe haven and working environment for vulnerable women - women who may have been abused, trying to escape prostitution, or have suffered other negative situations which has left them with shattered confidence and a mistrust of being around men.

George Horne, second in the queue

Wheatcroft told us that the Hope Boutique Bakery will even provide them with the skills to become trainers themselves, so that they can then help other women who find themselves in similar circumstances.

The duo's crowd funding website (at www.crowdfuelledcauses.com) goes live tomorrow (15 September) and while the more cynical among us could say that Richard and George are using an iPhone 5 launch for a marketing stunt, we have to say that there have been few that do so with such good intentions.

Vik Rathor, third in the queue with friend Zohaib Ali

Third in the line is Vik Rathor who is buddying up with Pocket-lint favourite and serial queue attendant Zohaib Ali (who was on a break when we visited). They missed the front by a fraction last evening, having also arrived at 6pm.

But the last word must go to Wheatcroft. After his experiences so far, a mere 21 hours into his and Horne's vigil - which will last approximately another 161 - he's already discounted ever doing this again. "This is a one and only experience," he said.

The iPhone 5 comes out on 21 September, starting at £529. Pre-orders are already being accepted on the online Apple Store and many of the networks, but Apple has already shifted the date of delivery to the 28 September at least, thanks to overwhelming interest.