BEIJING – Dozens of people were seen queuing outside the doors of the Apple store on Friday in the Chinese capital to get their hands on the first iPhone X that went on sale in more than 55 countries.
The first customer who bought the new model after ordering it online and avoiding two hours of standing in line entered the store wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the image of the new iPhone X amid applause from both the crowd and Apple staff.
“(These phones) are a part of my life. Maybe it is just a habit or something familiar to change iPhones every year,” the man said, adding that he felt lucky to have been the first to acquire the new model, Apple’s most expensive so far, which retails in China for 8,388 yuan (around $1,267).
The store, located in the heart of Beijing, gradually filled up as customers entered in their dozens Friday morning.
“It has been very exciting to get the new iPhone design,” Beijing resident Tao told EFE, who braved the cold while standing in line from 5:30 am to be one of the first to buy the new phone.
He was particularly drawn to the new model by its design, as he said he grew tired of the appearance of the iPhone X’s predecessors.
Apple hopes to boost sales with this new launch in China, where in recent years it has lost market share to local firms such as OPPO, Huawei and Vivo, which last year surpassed Apple in domestic sales.
On the southern edge the mainland in bustling Hong Kong, the new iPhone’s launch at the Apple store in Hysan Place in Causeway Bay proved a more low-key affair.
About 100 people were seen queuing up, though it was not clear how many had camped in front of the shop overnight.
The turnout and mood of the iPhone X launch in Hong Kong was reportedly less energetic than iPhone launches in previous years.
East of Hong Kong, across the Taiwan Strait, electronics shops in Taipei greeted iPhone X customers with relative fanfare.
Staff at the Taiwan Mobile shop prepared colored balloons and stools for the approximately 100 waiting customers to sit on, while the adjacent Far Eastone store had reportedly offered hot breakfasts to the dozens of shoppers.
To help spur sales of the newest Apple gadget, Far Eastone gave the first iPhone X buyer an Apple Watch, and allowed the first 30 people waiting in line to draw lots, with the winner receiving an iPad, company spokesman Mr. Chen told epa.
Northeast of Taiwan, on the streets of the world’s third largest economy, the queue of some 2,000 waiting people Friday morning snaked around the block outside an Apple store in the Japanese capital.
Of the dozens of shoppers who had camped overnight outside Tokyo’s Omotesando district Apple shop, one man, a 21-year-old university student named Yamamura, told epa that he had been camping there since Oct. 28.
He explained that he used a few personal items to hold his spot on the sidewalk for the last seven days.
Once Apple’s doors opened, the upbeat customers streamed in and bought the new phone, which most of them had ordered.
Many shoppers could be seen curiously testing out the iPhone X’s Face ID function, a facial recognition program that secures access to the device through an infrared camera that turns the user’s face into a personal password, replacing the tactile input of Touch ID.
The new smartphone comes with a 5.8-inch screen and OLED technology that practically covers the entire front surface by minimizing the frames and eliminating the start button.
Such frames, which previously limited and surrounded the touch surface, are a trend already employed by some high-end Android phones.