iPhone 8 Launch Considered ‘Bleak’ As Customers Hold out for iPhone X

iPhone 8 Launch Considered 'Bleak' As Customers Hold out for iPhone X Credit: Apple

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Apple officially launched its iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus devices across the globe, along with the Apple TV 4K and Apple Watch Series 3.

The company, as it usually does, celebrated the launch event by sharing pictures of customers purchasing and trying out the new devices for the first time on its website. But the happy-looking photos leave out one detail about the device launch: the turnout seemed much smaller when compared to previous years.

In some of the countries where the devices launched first, namely New Zealand, Australia, Japan and China, Reuters reported that there was a “bleak turnout” for the new handsets. At the George Street Apple Store in Sydney, for example, fewer than 30 people lined up in front of the retail outlet. A similar situation was reported at the Regent Street flagship store in London, according to Mashable. In certain places, the crowds did seem bigger — in Singapore, for example, more than 200 people stood in line for the iPhone 8 handsets.

It’s an unusual atmosphere for a Cupertino release. Typically, when a new Apple device rolls out, hundreds of customers line up — often days beforehand — to get their hands on the latest and greatest product. But even though some customers still happily waited in line for the new handsets, the reception just wasn’t as impressive as previous Apple device launches.

To many consumers, most of the features of the new iPhone 8 and 8 Plus may seem incremental. While the glass backs of the handsets allow for wireless charging, their design and styling are essentially identical to their predecessors. The upgraded speakers, camera and internals on the new devices may not be that much of an incentive for current iPhone 7 owners to upgrade.

More important than that, however, is the impending launch of the iPhone X. That device carries a number of groundbreaking features, and although pricey at $999, is largely expected to spur an “upgrade super-cycle” for Apple. Anticipation for that flagship device already seems to be much higher, and building by the day. In most cases, it’ll be hard for many to actually purchase the device due to the high demand and supply constraints.

A few analysts theorized that one of the reasons Apple is launching the iPhone X late is to avoid cannibalizing sales of its iPhone 8 lineup. In hindsight, that tactic may not have worked as well as the company had hoped. But, judging by today’s low turnout and the building consumer excitement for the iPhone X, it’s likely that the reception for the revolutionary Apple handset is going to be a lot more impressive.

Pre-orders for the iPhone X begin on Oct. 27, and the device will hit stores and begin shipping to consumers on Nov. 3.

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