iPhone 8 launch draws crowds to Apple Store at Orchard Road

iPhone 8 launch draws crowds to Apple Store at Orchard Road

More than dozens of Apple fans turned up at the Apple Store along Orchard Road for the launch of the new iPhone 8 and the larger iPhone 8 Plus on Friday (Sep 22).

SINGAPORE: More than dozens of Apple fans turned up at the Apple Store along Orchard Road for the launch of the new iPhone 8 and the larger iPhone 8 Plus on Friday (Sep 22).

For some, the race to be the first few in the queue began on Thursday night.

About 80 diehard Apple fans stood in line overnight outside the store at Knightsbridge Mall after receiving green numbered wristbands.

Green wristband Apple store
Each person was handed a green wristband denoting their position in the queue, and they were only allowed to leave the line for a maximum of one hour. (Photo: Tang See Kit)

About 100 more joined the walk-in queue this morning ahead of the launch at 8am. Given that Singapore is among the first few markets where the new iPhones are released, many foreigners could be seen in the queue.

Among them was Mr Hoai Trinh, a 32-year-old businessman from Vietnam who managed to get two gold versions of the iPhone 8 Plus.

This was the fourth time Mr Hoai had travelled to Singapore for the iPhone launches and he plans to make another trip to Singapore when the iPhone X is launched.

"I like the new camera, the all-glass (exterior) and the processor ... It's expensive but we like it," he told Channel NewsAsia, adding that the phones amount to a month's salary for him.

Prices for the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, which come in silver, space grey and gold in 64GB and 256GB models, start from S$1,148 and S$1,308 respectively.⁠⁠⁠⁠

iphone 8 buyer
Mr Hoai Trinh (in red) and a friend at the Apple Store along Orchard Road. (Photo: Tang See Kit) 

Friday's event marks the first major product launch to be held at the Apple Store in Singapore, which opened to much fanfare in May.

Mr Varis Sinthopruangchai from Bangkok was the first to enter the Apple Store on Friday. The 20-year-old finance major, who is on an exchange programme at the National University of Singapore, had pre-ordered the black versions of the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus last week.

"The booking was hard but it all paid off," said Mr Sinthopruangchai, who plans to give the phones to his parents. "It's my first time getting the iPhone on the first day ... it's a very exciting and memorable moment in my lifetime."

Also from Bangkok was Mr Sarunpat Apichaic, who was eighth in line and bought two iPhone 8 Plus phones in silver and space grey.

The 35-year-old said this is the first time he is queuing to get the new iPhones and was tempted to do so after reading about the better camera function.

Despite spending more than S$2,000, Mr Apichaic told Channel NewsAsia: "This is not expensive because I love Apple." He plans to travel back to Singapore to get the iPhone X next month.

To be sure, there are other Apple fans who have decided to give Friday's launch a miss and hold out for the soon-to-be-released iPhone X.

Set to go on sale next month, the iPhone X is a glass and stainless steel device with an edge-to-edge display that Chief Executive Tim Cook has called "the biggest leap forward since the original iPhone".

Singaporean Bernard Teo, 32, said the iPhone 8 offers "small incremental upgrades" from its predecessors.

On the other hand, the iPhone X, which has been described as the 10th-anniversary iPhone, has a bigger screen size and other "innovative changes" such as the availability of Face ID.

New features of the iPhone 8 including wireless charging using the Qi standard will also be made available on the iPhone X, making the latter a "better deal", he told Channel NewsAsia.

Source: CNA/am