Buyers bite big at larger Apple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus

A new Apple iPhone 6 Plus is seen during an Apple event at the Flint Center in Cupertino, California, on Sept 9, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
A new Apple iPhone 6 Plus is seen during an Apple event at the Flint Center in Cupertino, California, on Sept 9, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) - Apple's website was swamped on Friday in what appeared to be a record-setting buying binge fueled by smartphone buyers' desire for large-screen iPhones.

Bigger did indeed seem to be better to the throngs who jockeyed in a virtual scrum to get access to the Apple website to order iPhone 6 and the larger-size iPhone 6 Plus models.

Many people took to Twitter with terse tales of frustration and perseverance needed to get through and pre-order the new Apple smartphones set for release on September 19.

The delivery date for iPhone 6 Plus steadily crept outward as the morning wore on and word by mid-day here was that pre-orders had sold out for what will be the biggest Apple smartphone. Apple was promising delivery of the biggest iPhone in three to four weeks.

Those ordering iPhone 6 models or early to order its larger sibling iPhone Plus are still in line to receive them as originally scheduled next Friday.

Technology news website Re/code quoted an Apple spokesperson as saying "response to iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus has been incredible with a record number of preorders overnight." Apple on Tuesday unveiled its first smartwatch and two large-screen versions of the iPhone, in a move to recapture its role as a trend-setter.

Apple added in a new mobile wallet that will allow consumers to simply tap their phones to pay retailers.

New iPhone 6 models boost screen sizes in what some see as the company catching up to a "phablet" trend combining features of smartphones and tablets.

The frenzy at Apple's website on Friday indicated that in the eyes of myriad iPhone lovers, bigger is indeed better.

Apple's main rival Samsung has long had a range of larger handsets and has tried to market a smartwatch of its own.

The iPhone 6 will have a screen of 4.7 inches and the 6-Plus will be 5.5 inches, allowing Apple to adapt to consumers' apparent preference for bigger displays.

The new iPhone 6 starts at the same price of existing iPhones at US$199 (S$251.45) for US customers while the iPhone 6 Plus will be at US$299 with a two-year contract. Unlocked or unsubsidized models will start around US$650.

Apple's move, expanding the latest iPhone with a four-inch screen, comes as consumers are switching to handsets with bigger displays to watch videos and browse the Internet.