It’s usually the case that when a new iPhone launches we’re inundated with photos of Apple fans queuing up outside stores. But judging from the lines that appeared on Friday’s launch day, early demand for the iPhone 8 has been pretty poor.
Locations that have famously seen queues stretching for several blocks during previous iPhone releases were noticeably subdued last week. San Francisco’s Union Square and Apple’s Sydney city stores saw lines of around 80 and 30 people, respectively. Numbers were even worse at the company’s flagship London outlet, where there was more staff inside the store than the 13 people waiting outside.
It was a similar story on Saturday. Even with most people off work, lines for the iPhone 8 over the weekend were tiny. When passing my local Apple store during the early morning, I noticed it also contained more staff than customers waiting outside, which made the nightclub-style security appear quite unnecessary.
There were some exceptions, however; big lines reportedly appeared at Apple’s World Trade Center and Fifth Avenue New York locations — though these were still smaller than previous launches — as well as its Orchard Road Store in Singapore.
Barring the A11 Bionic SoC, the iPhone 8 has few notable hardware upgrades and even fewer cosmetic changes compared to its predecessor. As such, demand for the handset has been far from stratospheric, but the main reason behind the apparent lack of interest is the iPhone X. With the company’s flagship set to launch in November, it seems most Apple fans are holding out for the $999 device before upgrading.