SINGAPORE - The long-anticipated Apple iPhone X was launched in Singapore's Apple store on Friday (Nov 3).
As the doors opened at 8am, the horde of fans who had lined up overnight outside the Orchard Road store rushed in. The Apple team began a countdown that roared through the crowd, and welcomed the crowd with huge applause.
Within two hours of the store opening, more than 20 iPhone Xs were being offered for resale on online marketplaces such as Carousell. They were priced at $2,500 or more, reaping resellers at least $600 in profit.
There were two queues at the store - one for walk-in buyers and one for those who had pre-ordered the phone.
Those in the pre-order queue were allowed to enter the store first, with students from Thailand, Mr Kittiwat Wang and Mr Supakorn Rieksiri, both 22, leading the way. The men, who have been friends since high school, had pre-ordered two phones each on Oct 27.
Mr Supakorn, who studies engineering at Thammasat University, was the first customer to make a purchase. "I'm shaking, I'm going to open it with my mum at home in Thailand," he said.
But Mr Kittiwat, a science student at Mahidol University International College, said he would be opening his purchase straight away. Both friends had flown over to Singapore to buy the phone for themselves and their parents.
Madam Ilha Ahmed, 53, was the first in the walk-in queue to enter the store. The housewife and her son paid for their haul of four phones within 20 minutes of the opening – more than 24 hours after she started queueing.
The self-professed "huge" Apple fan and her son had queued since 6.30am on Thursday. After an exhausting night waiting, she said: "I don't think I will come next time, but it depends on what Apple brings out."
The store, located in Orchard Road, saw crowds of up to 800. This was more than the 200 people at September’s iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus launch.
Some had luggage with them, while others brought sleeping bags and food to camp out overnight.
Buyers were limited to two phones each. The Apple iPhone X retails at $1,648 (64GB) and $1,888 (256GB), and comes in silver or space grey.
Mr Tran Quoc Dat, 25, from Vietnam, came with 10 friends. Each person snapped up two phones each. "I'm feeling crazy, I'm so excited," he said, adding that the group flew here to buy the phones and will be leaving the country with their haul later at night.
One customer who went the extra mile to get the new phone was 36-year-old Jocelyn Ng. She booked a hotel room nearby and joined the queue at 8.30am on Thursday.
"For every iPhone launch I do this, but this is the longest I have waited," said Ms Ng, who works in travel management.
This is the second time in less than two months Singapore has seen eager crowds anticipate an iPhone launch at the Apple store, following the release of iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus in late September.