Long queues outside Apple Store to get first dibs on iPhone X

ST VIDEO: SHELINA ASSOMULL
University students Supakorn Rieksiri (far left) and Kittiwat Wang flew in from Thailand to collect yesterday the two iPhones each that they pre-ordered on Oct 27.
University students Supakorn Rieksiri (left) and Kittiwat Wang flew in from Thailand to collect yesterday the two iPhones each that they pre-ordered on Oct 27.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
Customers wait in line to purchase the new iPhone X outside the Apple store in Orchard Road.
Customers wait in line to purchase the new iPhone X outside the Apple store in Orchard Road. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
Customers wait in line to purchase the new iPhone X outside the Apple store in Orchard Road.
Customers wait in line to purchase the new iPhone X outside the Apple store in Orchard Road.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
Customers get their hands on the new iPhone X at the Apple store in Orchard Road.
Customers get their hands on the new iPhone X at the Apple store in Orchard Road.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
The newly launched iPhone X is Apple's most expensive iPhone to date.
The newly launched iPhone X is Apple's most expensive iPhone to date.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
An Apple staff provides assistance to a customer at the Apple store in Orchard Road.
An Apple staff provides assistance to a customer at the Apple store in Orchard Road.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

Mr Tran Quoc Dat, 25, and his friends were huddled around a table at the Apple Store in Orchard Road yesterday morning as one member of the group distributed money from a thick wad of cash.

The group of 11 from Vietnam had flown to Singapore especially for the launch of the iPhone X and queued overnight outside the store to be among the first to get their hands on the highly-anticipated device. They bought 22 phones - two phones was the limit for each customer - paying the $36,000 sum in cash.

"I'm feeling crazy, I'm so excited," Mr Tran told the Straits Times.

The expected high demand for the iPhone X and its current unavailability in other countries in the region prompted many fans to go the extra mile to try and buy one.

Among the hundreds who camped overnight outside the Apple Store and telco outlets were some people with luggage. Others came prepared with sleeping bags and food.

The Apple Store had two queues - one for walk-in shoppers and another for those who pre-ordered.

Madam Ilha Ahmed, 53, was the first in the walk-in queue to enter the store.

The housewife and her son had been outside since 6.30am on Thursday.

After an exhausting night, she said: "I don't think I will come next time, but it depends on what Apple brings out."

University students Kittiwat Wang and Supakorn Rieksiri, both 22, were the first in the pre-order queue. They had flown in from Thailand after ordering two phones each on Oct 27.

Ms Jocelyn Ng, 36, who had lined up from 8.30am on Thursday, said: "For every iPhone launch, I do this, but this is the longest I have waited."

The crowd at the Apple Store was estimated to be around 800 - more than the 200 people who turned up for September's iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus launch.

And some in line yesterday were evidently there to make a profit.

Within two hours of the store opening, more than 20 iPhone Xs were posted for resale in online marketplaces such as Carousell, with asking prices starting from $2,500. The iPhone X retails at $1,648 for the 64GB version and $1,888 for the 256GB one.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 04, 2017, with the headline 'Long queues outside Apple Store to get first dibs on iPhone X'. Print Edition | Subscribe