After decade of iPhone launches, there's still a line in San Francisco

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in iPhone
At Apple's Union Square flagship retail store in San Francisco, an early morning line of about 100 people formed down the block for new iPhone 8 and Apple Watch Series 3 buyers, split between users with pre-order reservations and people who just stopped by to pick up the new gear.


Just before opening, the line at Union Square stretched down the block


Long lines were long a fixture of initial iPhone launches, with some waiting for longer than 24 hours to be the first to get a new phone. All day launch lines incredibly continued for years, but as Apple got better at handling advanced preorders and direct shipments, the need to wait in line has greatly reduced. Despite lines around the block back in 2007, the company only sold about 1.4 million phones that entire year.

Last year, Apple sold 211 million iPhones, most of which were its newest iPhone 7. This year, demand will be spit between the revamped iPhone 8 and 8 Plus available now and the entirely new iPhone X slated to go on sale in November.

Not everyone in line this morning was waiting for iPhone 8. I talked to a woman visiting from Brazil waiting for the new Apple Watch Series 3, a device that won't go on sale there until later. The headline feature of the new model is its ability to work with LTE mobile networks, but that feature isn't yet supported by carriers in Brazil. Instead, she was buying the standard GPS version as an upgrade to the original, expressly to take advantage of the fact that it is designed so you can swim with it.


The iPhone 8 line, captured by iPhone 8 Plus


A couple of young men from Belgium were in line for iPhone 8. One reported that his last phone was an Android, and he didn't like it. He said it was a OnePlus (the higher-end brand of BKK, the Chinese manufacturing company that also produces mid and lower-end but high volume smartphone brands Oppo and vivo).

I asked if this would be his first iPhone. No, he said, he's always had iPhones but tried Android last year. Now he's back. How much cheaper is iPhone in the United States? A little but not all that much, he noted, stating he just happened to be here and wanted to pick one up while traveling.








The vast doors are open on San Francisco's flagship Union Square store




    It appeared that lots of people in line here in San Francisco were tourists or traveling, and came by early this morning to pick up new products as a convenience. There was a separate line for preorders, for those who'd reserved a specific block of time to pick up orders. Clearly the majority of iPhone buyers won't be waiting in lines at the store, but instead will be ordering online at their leisure or working to make sure they're in the virtual line forming for iPhone X when preorders for that phone begin on October 27.

    Comments

    • Reply 1 of 17
      lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,622member
      I’m trying to remember when the length of the line in front of an Apple store became the metric for success or failure of an iPhone launch. 
      edited September 2017 macxpressRacerhomieXjbdragonwatto_cobrajony0
    • Reply 2 of 17
      How much cheaper is iPhone in the United States? A little but not all that much, he noted, stating he just happened to be here and wanted to pick one up while traveling.
      Oooh, I hope he doesn't get frisked by customs officials back in Belgium, or he'll be paying import duty and sales tax. Completely unrelated: I'll be aiming for an iPhone X when I'm in SF in a few months, if Apple can build enough by then...
      watto_cobra
    • Reply 3 of 17
      lkrupp said:
      I’m trying to remember when the length of the line in front of an Apples store became the metric for success or failure of an iPhone launch. 
      Indeed. Sky News here in the U.K. reporting a “muted” line in London with all sorts of implied significance. 
    • Reply 4 of 17
      Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,108administrator
      lkrupp said:
      I’m trying to remember when the length of the line in front of an Apples store became the metric for success or failure of an iPhone launch. 
      It's an indication of almost nothing after Apple launched online sales, and heavily promoted them. 

      However, conventional media seems to think that it has all the significance.
      gregg thurmanwatto_cobra
    • Reply 5 of 17
      lkrupp said:
      I’m trying to remember when the length of the line in front of an Apples store became the metric for success or failure of an iPhone launch. 
      Media is certainly jumping on it.

      https://www.ft.com/content/17d9b020-9f0b-11e7-8cd4-932067fbf946

      And now I’m seeing so-called “channel checks” claiming demand for the 8 is weak. No wonder the stock has shed $43B this week.
    • Reply 6 of 17
      lkrupp said:
      I’m trying to remember when the length of the line in front of an Apples store became the metric for success or failure of an iPhone launch. 
      Media is certainly jumping on it.

      https://www.ft.com/content/17d9b020-9f0b-11e7-8cd4-932067fbf946

      And now I’m seeing so-called “channel checks” claiming demand for the 8 is weak. No wonder the stock has shed $43B this week.
      The media will go to great lengths to try and create a negative story about Apple. Failure of the world's largest company gets them lots of clicks and views on TV. Whatever happened to fair and true journalism.
      watto_cobra
    • Reply 7 of 17
      sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,406member
      macxpress said:
      lkrupp said:
      I’m trying to remember when the length of the line in front of an Apples store became the metric for success or failure of an iPhone launch. 
      Media is certainly jumping on it.

      https://www.ft.com/content/17d9b020-9f0b-11e7-8cd4-932067fbf946

      And now I’m seeing so-called “channel checks” claiming demand for the 8 is weak. No wonder the stock has shed $43B this week.
      The media will go to great lengths to try and create a negative story about Apple. Failure of the world's largest company gets them lots of clicks and views on TV. Whatever happened to fair and true journalism.
      Yeah... what's not being mentioned is that even with the "muted" lines, iKnockoffs like Samsung would kill to have that kind of loyalty.
      RacerhomieXcaliwatto_cobra
    • Reply 8 of 17
      lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,622member
      sflocal said:
      macxpress said:
      lkrupp said:
      I’m trying to remember when the length of the line in front of an Apples store became the metric for success or failure of an iPhone launch. 
      Media is certainly jumping on it.

      https://www.ft.com/content/17d9b020-9f0b-11e7-8cd4-932067fbf946

      And now I’m seeing so-called “channel checks” claiming demand for the 8 is weak. No wonder the stock has shed $43B this week.
      The media will go to great lengths to try and create a negative story about Apple. Failure of the world's largest company gets them lots of clicks and views on TV. Whatever happened to fair and true journalism.
      Yeah... what's not being mentioned is that even with the "muted" lines, iKnockoffs like Samsung would kill to have that kind of loyalty.
      It has certainly become in vogue to hate Apple. It’s sort of a measure of tech prowess for some in that the more you hate Apple the smarter you must be.  We see it constantly right here in AI comment sections with certain individuals seemingly dedicated to pooh-poohing anything Apple says or does. 
      RacerhomieXcaliwatto_cobra
    • Reply 9 of 17
      RacerhomieXRacerhomieX Posts: 95unconfirmed, member
      Reminds me of simpler times.
      edited September 2017
    • Reply 10 of 17
      lkrupp said:
      I’m trying to remember when the length of the line in front of an Apples store became the metric for success or failure of an iPhone launch. 
      Indeed. Sky News here in the U.K. reporting a “muted” line in London with all sorts of implied significance. 
      Ignorance among the media knows no bounds.
      jbdragonwatto_cobra
    • Reply 11 of 17
      Literally on CNBC this morning the same host said that "the X is too expensive and no one can afford it" then literally the next sentence was "no one is buying the 8 bc they are waiting for the X"....

      can't make this up 
      radarthekatwatto_cobra
    • Reply 12 of 17
      (Sung to the tune of "I Left My Heart In San Francisco"):  "I lost my place in line in Saaaaaan Franciscooooooo!"
    • Reply 13 of 17
      Reminds me of simpler times.
      "Simpler times"? Like, before the iPhone, when the stock was at less than one-twelfth of its current value?
    • Reply 14 of 17

      NY1822 said:
      Literally on CNBC this morning the same host said that "the X is too expensive and no one can afford it" then literally the next sentence was "no one is buying the 8 bc they are waiting for the X"....

      can't make this up 
      CNBC had two moron analysts on this morning, one of whom claimed that "carriers are not offering deals, so it must be because demand for iPhones is soft." In his world, the demand curve must slope upwards.

      Where do they find these idiots gems?
      radarthekatwatto_cobra
    • Reply 15 of 17
      "Simpler times"? Like, before the iPhone, when the stock was at less than one-twelfth of its current value?
      Still kicking myself for not buying even just 10 shares in ’03…
      calimattinozjbdragonwatto_cobra
    • Reply 16 of 17
      NY1822 said:
      Literally on CNBC this morning the same host said that "the X is too expensive and no one can afford it" then literally the next sentence was "no one is buying the 8 bc they are waiting for the X"....

      can't make this up 
      Who in hell watches CNBC?  
      jbdragonwatto_cobra
    • Reply 17 of 17
      jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 1,966member
      lkrupp said:
      I’m trying to remember when the length of the line in front of an Apple store became the metric for success or failure of an iPhone launch. 
      Apple has been pushing people to order their iPhones online for a number of years.  I hate standing in line.  Those standing in line are those that didn't have a chance to order online, or ordered to late and nits want to try and get one on day 1 going in person and standing in line.  Or those trying to buy to sell at higher prices on eBay.
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