SINGAPORE - Apple fever is upon Singapore once again, with hordes of customers descending upon stores islandwide for the launch of the tech giant's latest iPhone 11 series on Friday (Sept 20).
First in the queue at Apple's Orchard Road flagship store when doors opened at 8am was Mr Julian Cho, 39.
Having pre-ordered his midnight green 64GB iPhone 11 Pro, Mr Cho was able to arrive at about 7am and still claim his place at the head of the queue of several hundred people, many of whom started queueing on Thursday night.
"I actually ordered four identical sets. The other three are still being shipped over but I wanted to collect one at the store itself so I could be the first to get my hands on the new iPhone," said Mr Cho, who works in the real estate sector.
The phone he collected is for himself, while he plans to give the other three to his two brothers and wife.
Mr Cho added that he upgrades his iPhone every year with the roll-out of each new generation, to the point where new features are no longer the most important consideration.
"But if I had to choose, I would say I'm most looking forward to trying out the upgraded camera system," he said.
The distinction of being first out of the store, however, belonged to Malaysian student Aidid Haiqal, 17, who emerged with a 512GB space grey iPhone 11 Pro Max and a black 128GB iPhone 11.
"I'm really excited and happy after coming all the way to Singapore," said Aidid, who travelled from Kuala Lumpur just to get his hands on the new phones.
He also pre-ordered the phones and started queueing at around 6am. The Pro Max is for his personal use while the iPhone 11 is for his sister.
The iPhone 11 series comprises the 6.1-inch iPhone 11, 5.8-inch 11 Pro and 6.5-inch 11 Pro Max. Prices for the three models start from $1,149, $1,649 and $1,799 respectively.
The primary difference between the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro models is that the Pro models use better-looking and more dynamic Oled displays while the iPhone 11 uses an LCD display.
Compared with the previous generation iPhone X models, the new models boast an additional ultra wide-angle rear camera.
The telcos here also got in on the act, with Singtel holding its launch event at Marina Bay Sands, StarHub chauffeuring four loyal customers to its Plaza Singapura store and M1 handing out hampers to the first customers who bought each of the three models at its Paragon outlet.
Electronics retailer Courts opened its Tampines and Orchard stores at 8am as well for the iPhone launch, two hours ahead of usual opening hours.
Employees at its Orchard store handed out coffee, mineral water and face masks to customers standing in line.
Mr Bobby Duong, 35, who was first in line, had been queueing for about 20 hours since around noon on Thursday.
Travelling from Vietnam to Singapore to get the latest iPhone has become something of a ritual for Mr Duong, who was purchasing the iPhone 11 Pro Max for his wife.
"This is my fifth time at Courts for a new iPhone launch and I like that the store opened early so I can get the phone earlier," he said.