- POSTED: 20 Sep 2013 20:57
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From Japan to Singapore, China and Hong Kong, consumers have snapped up Apple's first gold-coloured iPhone, closely associated with wealth in Asian cultures
Apple has struck gold with its gold iPhone 5s snapped up across Asia.
In Singapore, the iPhone 5s in gold was sold out at SingTel in four minutes, while at other telco StarHub, the new champagne coloured phone was sold out across all 10 StarHub shops within the first hour.
Singapore's third carrier, M1, also ran out of the golden phones, reportedly within an hour as well.
Sales of the new iPhone 5S and 5C began at 8am in Singapore with slightly smaller queues than previous iPhone launches but just as much fanfare.
SingTel which booked a hall at the exhibitions and conventions area of Marina Bay Sands to cater to eager iPhone fans who lined up from 8pm the night before.
A pair of 24-year-olds, John Yap and Doreen Chua were the first happy iPhone owners, while 34-year-old project manager Julian Cho didn't break his streak for being among the first in line to feed his iPhone love affair.
According to Yap, the golden iPhone was a "refreshing and a welcome change from the look of all the previous models".
"I think it's worth the time especially when it is something you cherish.
It is just like queing for concert tickets," he told AFP after queuing nearly 12 hours to get his a 64GB gold iPhone 5S.
Over at Plaza Singapura, where StarHub held it's iPhone launch, the telco’s Head of Personal Solutions, Mr Chan Kin Hung, activated the screen of a giant iPhone with his “Touch ID" to officiate the launch.
The first customer in line at the event was 24-year-old Zhang HuanPu who made sure he had an early 5am start.
According to a SingTel spokesman “The iPhone 5s/5c has been very well received by our customers. The demand for has been greater than (iPhone 4 + iPhone 4s).
Based on earlier sales of the iPhone and iPad, telcos have put in place appointents for sales and opened up more sales centres.
SingTel had almost 10,000 appointment slots alone on the first day of sales. But snaking lines is what the telco is counting on.
"We have 55 sales counters set up for our iPhone 5s/5c launch event to achieve our goal of getting customers in and out within 15 minutes. We also provide free coffee and entertainment and selling a range of Apple accessories” said a SingTel spokeman.
As for StarHub they will conduct appointment sales at 10 centres to avoid overcrowding at any one shop.
In China which for the first time became part of the first sales cities, the gold iPhone 5S models were also quickly bought up after online pre-orders began Tuesday morning, with many not flinching at the 5,288 yuan (US$864) price tag to get their hands on Apple's much-coveted latest offering.
One Beijing Apple customer Yao Guibing said: "I've been using iPhone since its first generation.
"The colour is very special.. I believe in Apple's idea of design, so golden colour must be excellent.
"Though some people on the Internet say the golden colour is for nouveau riche, I don't think so."
Representing wealth and luxury in Chinese culture, gold has become a badge of the China's newly wealthy.
In status-conscious Hong Kong, the golden version is already becoming a symbol of someone who's arrived as it can be hardly found.
"We were able to acquire the 16 gigabyte models, we've gotten around 30 to 40 of the gold ones," Lau Chi-kong, of G-world Mobile in the commercial district of Mong Kok, told AFP, which he described to be a small number.
"I think Apple released a limited amount of the gold version," said Lau who plans to sell the 16 gigabyte version of the gold coloured phone for HK$10,800, almost double its retail price.
"There is demand for it, everyone wants it," he said of his little mobile goldmine.