Enthusiasts rush and queue to lay hands on expensive new iPhone X
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.
BIG APPLE: Newly purchased iPhone Xs were the pride and joy of their buyers yesterday. This buyer was in New York