SYDNEY: Long, snaking lines formed outside Apple Inc stores in Asia early on Friday as fans flocked to buy the new iPhone X, 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.
In Australia, around 400 people queued outside Apple’s flagship store in central Sydney 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.”
Just 30 people turned up for the September release of the iPhone 8, an incremental update of the iPhone 7.
“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. -Reuters