iPhone X launch: Long lines in Sydney, other big cities around the world
03 Nov 2017, 16:59 | updated: 03 Nov 2017, 17:07
Hundreds of fans flocked to buy the new iPhone X as long, snaking lines were seen outside Apple Inc stores at Sydney in Australia and in Asia early on Friday.
This is a turnout that contrasts with the more lackluster launches for the past two iterations of the premium smartphone.
Strong initial demand underscores Apple’s upbeat sales forecast for the year-end holiday shopping season, provided just hours before iPhone X sales began, reports the Reuters.
Hours-long wait for new iPhone
NTV Online reached at Apple’s flagship store at central Sydney in Australia to find out hundreds of people queued outside the to pay A$1,579 ($1,218) for the 10th-anniversary model, a glass-and-stainless-steel device that Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook billed as ‘the biggest leap forward since the original iPhone.’
‘Tired’ yet excited people were seen waiting for 16 to 20 hours to get their new gadget.
When asked what features attracted them most in the new iPhone, one said ‘the bigger screen’, while for another the 5.8" screen, glass body and improved camera lured him to have it. The 3D face scanner is the ultimate ‘security’ for a fan.
For a young Bangladeshi man waiting for 10 hours to get the smartphone, the price ‘doesn’t matter’ at all since he has been a i-Phone user since the version five. He used Apple Smart Watch as well.
Below is the video showing people eagerly waiting for buying iPhone X:
iPhone X comes a decade after original iPhone
Just 30 people turned up for the September release of the iPhone 8, an incremental update of the iPhone 7, reports the Reuters.
‘It’s beautiful bro, what a feeling, I’m excited,’ builder Bishoy Behman, 18, told Reuters after picking up two iPhone X as the first in line. He said he camped outside the store for a week before paying to improve his place in the queue overnight.
The iPhone X comes a decade after the original iPhone, the product that powered Apple’s rise to become the world’s biggest technology company with a market capitalization of $868 billion.
The firm opened pre-orders on Oct. 27 and has said demand was ‘off the charts.’ The handset features an edge-to-edge display designed for deeper color rendition and an innovative camera for face-recognition identification.
Analysts have expressed concern that supply issues might stop Apple satisfying early demand. The camera, for instance, has never before been manufactured in the volume Apple demands.
Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri told Reuters on Thursday that Apple was ‘quite happy’ with how manufacturing of the iPhone X was progressing.
‘Production is growing every week, and that’s very, very important during a ramp period,’ he said.
Marco Pierre White Jr shows his new phone, as he was the first to purchase the new Apple iPhone X at the Apple Store in Regents Street, London, Britain, November 3, 2017. Photo: Reuters
In Apple’s Omotesando store in Tokyo, some 550 people were waiting in a line stretching to around 600 meters.
‘I’m going home, and after having a rest, I’d like to have fun (with the phone),’ said first-in-line Yamaura, a 21-year-old college student who spent six days in the queue.
In Singapore, two tourists from Thailand - which is not an initial launch market - were the first to receive pre-ordered phones at a flagship store in the Orchard shopping district.
Arbitrage traders were also in line in an attempt to take advantage of the strong demand. In Hong Kong, some buyers quickly resold iPhone X handsets for a profit, but the resale premium eased as waiting times fell and supply concerns eased.
A store employee holds Russian rouble banknotes as he sells Apple's new iPhone X during its global launch at a cell phone store in central Moscow, Russia November 3, 2017. Photo: Reuters
Newly purchased iPhone X were reselling for HK$11,800 ($1,512) soon after sales began, but the price quickly fell to HK$10,300, a trader told Reuters. In mainland China - where Hong Kong traders often sell newly purchased goods - the anniversary model’s starting price is 8,388 yuan ($1,267).
K Yip in Hong Kong told Reuters his chain of small telecoms shops bought around 500 iPhone Xs for resale, mostly to mainland Chinese, but said the iPhone buzz was not as frenzied as before.
China iPhone sales have sagged in recent years as consumers switch to cheaper phones, while China becoming a launch market has hit demand for Hong Kong handsets.
‘People in China can just go online to order, so there’s less demand (in Hong Kong),’ Yip said.
Zhou Ying, a Beijing-based iPhone trader since 2010, echoed the sentiment.
‘It is getting harder and harder for us to scalp iPhones. It is not the same as before,’ Zhou said, adding she bought two at a premium of 300 yuan and hoped to make several hundred yuan in profit through resale.
Lines also started to form outside Apple’s New York City stores on Thursday evening, with a salesperson at one shop in the Upper West Side telling Reuters about 20 people had queued up so far.
The most immediately noticeable change to the iPhone X from previous models is the removal of the physical home button and fingerprint sensor formerly used for unlocking. Instead, the iPhone X is unlocked with a so-called Face ID system, in which the user looks into a depth-sensing camera.
‘I thought not having a home button would be an adjustment, but the new gestures are easy to learn and very natural,’ IT worker Greg Johnson told Reuters after testing his new phone in Sydney.