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UPDATED: European Apple online stores go dark in preparation for iPhone 5s launch

In the last hour all European online Apple stores have gone offline in preparation for the iPhone 5s launch here. Visitors to Apple's European online stores, like the UK store, are now greeted with the familiar "We'll be back" message. However, the wait will soon be over because at midnight local time those stores are set to go online and (presumably) sell out of Apple's latest flagship iPhone in minutes.

Of course, if you can't nab one in the first few minutes when the store comes back online, you can always head out to your local Apple Store. The image above is one I took of people camping out in front of the Covent Garden store in London just an hour ago. As you can tell from the pic, only about 20 people were in line.

UPDATE: The online stores are now open again and all iPhone 5s models come with a 7-10 business day ship time right out of the gate. These things are going to be in limited quantity for a while, folks.

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