En­thu­si­asts rush and queue to lay hands on ex­pen­sive new iPhone X

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - WORLD -

AP­PLE’S flag­ship iPhone X hit stores around the world yesterday as the com­pany pre­dicted bumper sales de­spite the hand­set’s eye-watering price tag, and cel­e­brated a surge in profits.

Ap­ple en­thu­si­asts around the globe were lin­ing up to get their hands on the new de­vice, which fea­tures fa­cial recog­ni­tion, cord­less charg­ing and an edge-to-edge screen made of or­ganic light-emit­ting diodes used in high-end tele­vi­sions.

The new gad­get marks the 10th an­niver­sary of the first iPhone re­lease and was re­leased in about 50 mar­kets yesterday, start­ing in Asia and then fol­lowed by Europe and the Amer­i­cas.

The launch came as Ap­ple an­nounced a 19% jump in net profit in the fis­cal fourth quar­ter to Septem­ber 30.

“If I don’t get it on the first day, I may as well wait un­til next year’s model -- I don’t like wait­ing,” Mathew Kam, a 21-year-old film stu­dent who had been queu­ing out­side the Ap­ple store on Lon­don’s Re­gent Street for 16 hours, said.

In Paris, where a queue had also formed in front of the Ap­ple Store near the French cap­i­tal’s Garnier Opera house, 21-year-old en­gi­neer­ing stu­dent Jeremy said he had worked through­out the sum­mer so as to be able to treat him­self to a new phone.

He bought the most ex­pen­sive ver­sion of the model, cost­ing ß1 300 (al­most R21 000), which is more than the min­i­mum monthly wage in France.

In Frank­furt, Ger­many’s fi­nan­cial cap­i­tal, Ap­ple fans had been lin­ing up since the early hours.

Timo, 16, said when he ar­rived at 7.30am, the queue al­ready stretched about 100 me­tres. “I wanted to be one of the first to see it,” he said.

Tim, a teacher, had trav­elled about 80km from Hei­del­berg to col­lect the phone he had or­dered on­line. “All the re­served mod­els were sold out within 10 min­utes,” he re­called.

Ear­lier in Asia, buy­ers who had pre-or­dered the phone on­line queued to pick up their new pur­chases, say­ing they were will­ing to pay for what they saw as a land­mark model.

“It’s the 10th an­niver­sary phone – any­way, other phones like the Sam­sung are not much less,” banker Tony Ye­ung, 35, said as he queued out­side the Ap­ple store in Hong Kong’s Fes­ti­val Walk mall.

About 300 cus­tomers waited overnight out­side Sin­ga­pore’s Ap­ple store, the first shop in South­east Asia to sell the new model.

Ap­ple is set­ting an am­bi­tious goal for itself to rein­vent the smart­phone as it strives to fend off fierce com­pe­ti­tion from ri­vals, es­pe­cially in China.

PHO­TO­GRAPH: REUTERS/ LU­CAS JACK­SON

BIG AP­PLE: Newly pur­chased iPhone Xs were the pride and joy of their buy­ers yesterday. This buyer was in New York

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