iPhone 5 takes the world by storm
Sep 20, 2012 / 10:47 pm
In a now familiar ritual, Apple fans jammed shops in Sydney, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Singapore to pick up the tech juggernaut's latest iPhone on Friday.
Eager buyers formed long lines at Apple Inc. stores in Australia and Japan to be the first to get their hands on the latest version of the smartphone.
In Hong Kong and Singapore, buyers had to sign up online for the chance to pick up the device at a prearranged time. The first customers in Hong Kong were greeted by staff cheering, clapping, chanting "iPhone 5! iPhone 5!" and high-fiving them as they were escorted one-by-one through the front door.
The smartphone is also being launched in the U.S., U.K., Canada, France and Germany.
It will go on sale in 22 more countries a week later. The iPhone 5 is thinner, lighter, has a taller screen, faster processor, updated software and can work on faster "fourth generation" mobile networks.
Order numbers indicate the iPhone 5 has overcome initial lukewarm reviews. Apple received 2 million orders in the first 24 hours of announcing its release date, more than twice the number for the iPhone 4S in the same period when that phone launched a year ago.
In a sign of the intense demand, police in Osaka, Japan, were investigating the theft of nearly 200 iPhones 5s, including 116 from one shop alone, Kyodo News reported.
Analysts have estimated Apple will ship as many as 10 million of the new iPhones by the end of September.
Some Australian fans went to extremes to be among the first by arriving at Apple's flagship store in downtown Sydney on Tuesday, three days ahead of the release.
Todd Foot, 24, nabbed the coveted first spot and spent about 18 hours a day in a folding chair and catching a few hours' sleep each night in a tent on the sidewalk.
Foot's dedication was largely a marketing stunt, however. He writes product reviews for a technology website that will give away the phone after Foot reviews it.
"I just want to get the phone so I can feel it, compare it and put it on our website," he said while slumped in his chair.
In Singapore, which doesn't have an Apple store, Liu Ting Ting waited 12 hours to be the first of 10,000 people in the Southeast Asian city-state granted the opportunity to buy one at a Singapore Telecommunications launch-day event.
"I have this I-need-to-be-first mentality because this is the first time I'm buying an iPhone," said Liu, who is dumping her Blackberry because she believes the iPhone 5's photo and video capabilities will help with her journalism studies.
"If I wasn't the first, I would have gone home," she said.
Not everyone lining up outside Hong Kong's Apple store was an enthusiast. University student Kevin Wong, waiting to buy a black 16 gigabyte model for 5,588 Hong Kong dollars ($720), said he was getting one "for the cash."
He planned to immediately resell it to one of the numerous grey market retailers catering to visiting mainland Chinese buyers. China is one of Apple's fastest growing markets but a release date for the iPhone 5 there has not yet been set.
Mainland Chinese, who like to shop in Hong Kong because there's no sales tax and because of the strength of the yuan, will probably buy it from the resellers "at a higher price, a way higher price," said Wong, who hoped to make a profit of HK$1,000 ($129).
Tokyo's glitzy downtown Ginza district not only had a long line in front of the Apple store, but another across the main intersection at Softbank, the first carrier in Japan to offer iPhones.
Hidetoshi Nakamura, a 25-year-old auto engineer, said he's an Apple fan because it's an innovator.
"I love Apple," he said, standing near the end of a two-block-long line, reading a book and listening to music on his iPod.
"It's only the iPhone for me."
Kristen Gelineau in Sydney, Yuri Kageyama in Tokyo and Faris Mokhtar in Singapore contributed to this report.
Follow Kelvin Chan on at twitter.com/chanman
Read more Business News
|QHR Technologies Inc||0.55||-0.03|
|Anavex Life Sciences||0.54||+0.05|
|Copper Mountain Mining||1.52||-0.16|
The majority of Canadians prefer to make their big move during the summer season. There are a variety of reasons for choosing this time of year: it is easier to transport boxes in non-icy condition...
It appears as though more people these days are looking for an investment in real estate which offers cash flow returns. The fundamentals of cash flow type properties had been turned upsi...
Getintheloop Marketing Ltd. recently launched their membership platform, Getintheloop.ca. The new website offers an exclusive members area for access to discounts in the South Okanagan on premium res...
- Sharktopus views turns on YouTube TV
- Social media makes Disney blink
- BCE looks to cut $170 million
- TD Bank: Loonie could fall to 90 cents US
- Mixed results for North American markets
- Ex-Enron CEO cuts new deal
- Canadian dollar nudges upward
- Microsoft extends agreement with Yahoo
- Iamgold profits drop 91 per cent in Q1
- Rogers puts pressure on Bell Astral deal
- Beer company roots for Canadian teams
- New milestone for Dow Jones