iPhone fatigue? What iPhone fatigue?

iPhone fatigue? What iPhone fatigue?

Summary: Around 2,000 people queued at an Apple Store in the UK to be in with the chance of getting their hands on the new iPhone. And this is a scene that's being repeated all around the world today as the new handset makes its sales debut.

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TOPICS: iPhone, Mobility
35

Given that the iPhone launch currently underway is the seventh, some analysts and pundits were predicting that consumers would be suffering from buyers fatigue and that interest in the handset would be tepid. Queues at iPhone stores across the UK this morning suggest otherwise.

This morning I paid a visit to an Apple store located at the Trafford Centre in Manchester. This is an average sized store for the UK and is one of two located within the city.

Here's the scene at the entrance to the store at 8AM. Contract customers were ushered to the head of the line and were some of the first in the world to get their hands on the new iPhone 5s and 5c. But this is only a small part of a much bigger queue that stretched all the way out of the mall and into the car park.

Queues for the new iPhone outside an Apple Store
(Source: Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet)
Queues for the new iPhone outside an Apple Store
(Source: Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet)
Some of the first in line to pick up the new iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c
(Source: Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet)

According to staff at the Trafford Center, there were around 2,000 people in the queue, a figure confirmed to me later by police officers that were on duty at the site. The officers reported that the queues had started to form at 10PM the night before, and that despite the crowds everyone had been well behaved and patient.

In order to prevent people queuing up needlessly, and I suppose to prevent disappointment and the emotions that come out as a result, Apple had put in place a ticket system which meant that everyone in the crowd was guaranteed a handset. I spoke to a few people, and it seemed that very few had managed to secure an iPhone 5s, and no one I spoke to had managed to secure a gold iPhone 5s.

Information I received in confidence from an Apple employee working at another store suggests that few, in any, gold iPhone 5s handsets had been shipped to UK stores, and that supplies of the white handsets were also severely limited. This leave the space grey as being the most widely available at present, adn even supplies of that are tight, with web orders now shipping in seven to ten days.

Some of these people had queued all night to have the chance to buy the new iPhone
(Source: Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet)

Staff at another cellphone retailer – Carphone Warehouse – situated yards away from the Apple Store told me they "had been lucky enough" to have taken delivery of fifty iPhone 5c and 5s handsets in total, and expected them all to be gone before lunchtime. Staff also conformed that the iPhone 5s was in short supply, so much so that the store didn't have one to use as a demo unit.

The Apple Store I visited is one of 37 stores in the UK, and both sources on the ground and social media conforms that similar queues have been present at all of them this morning.

Apple is going to sell a lot of handsets today.

iPhone fatigue? What iPhone fatigue?

Topics: iPhone, Mobility

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35 comments
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  • Status Quo

    Unless Apple is selling to users from other mobile platforms it's just churn of exsisting user base. Sure it's great to sell (the same) phone to your users yearly but it doesn't expand your market so it's a quick sales pop then sales drop off a cliff.

    Wasn't there news of 5S being is short supply? How can one store get enough stock for 2,000 people in line? I'm guessing there will be some upset Apple fans when all they can purchase is the 5C
    MobileAdmin
    • Rocking All Over the World...

      "Unless Apple is selling to users from other mobile platforms" That is precisely what the 5c is intended to do, and will do.

      Even if it is churn to the people you sold to 2 years ago, then you have a very updated device that will run all of your app purchases over the last 2 years.

      "so it's a quick sales pop then sales drop off a cliff"
      There's this thing called "Christmas" coming up. Apple sell a ton of devices, including phones, over the holiday period. This is not going to "fall off a cliff". The holiday sales will run through the end of Jan which is China's new year celebrations and Apple WILL be on China Mobile by then.

      As I mentioned below. The people who want a 5s will not take a 5c in place. They will simply wait for a 5s.
      jgpmolloy
      • Where I come from...

        ... we call this "wishfull thinking". Hope for the best however means preparing for the worst. My ancient Nokia E50 is a third of the size and about half the weight of a IPhone. Why would I like a "portable" communication device that's large enough to be a tablet??? I think it probably does a lot of things but you can hardly talk on this "phone" otherwise than with earphones. You can't even comfortably cradle it in the palm of your hand... Too damned large! I thought modern electronics was all about miniaturizing... wasn't it?!?
        Kostaghus
  • Queues Seem Shorter Than Last Year

    And nobody is going for the 5C.
    ldo17
    • That's good news for Apple

      if correct, it means that the 5C is not cannibalising the 5S.
      1,2,3
      • Re: it means that the 5C is not cannibalising the 5S

        Has it come to this, that Apple's idea of good news is that one of its products isn't selling?
        ldo17
  • The disconnect between what is happening...

    …and the commenters comments here is somewhat expected.

    @MobileAdmin They will simply wait. Despite the naysayers the gold is already sold out online.

    @OwlNet. Keep taking the Samsung money. Samsung advertised that this was "uncool", yes? Doesn't seem to have stopped the people queuing.
    jgpmolloy
    • Depends on why they're there. Is the standing in line the fad,

      that being more important then getting the phone itself? On the news this morning they showed a line here in the US, and it looked like about 12 people were in it from last night.

      Is the whole "I waited in line for this phone" really not as impressive or important as it once was? With all the availability and outlets to get it, this seems to be more about the line, and less about the phone.
      William Farrel
      • But the point is

        15 billion dollars worth of Samsung marketing budget brought to bear on the "queuing for a phone is uncool" meme is a pretty sad way to throw good R&D money down the drain. For all their bluster they cannot appear to sell any particular phone in any quantities. Even when they spend 8 weeks releasing a phone a week, each labeled some variation on the phrase "S4".
        jgpmolloy
        • 15 billion dollars worth of advertising?

          Where did you see that number of 15 BILLION?

          Also, that could be for other products in the mix and other divisions, too.
          William Farrel
        • Crapple icrap

          I have several Samsung devices and they have been great devices no issues or problems. I have owned 3 different iPhones and an iPad 3, all of these idevices were crap they broke all the time and were overheating, each icrap device I had to replace 5 or more times. My friends have also had multiple issues with there icraps to. I will never purchase any Crapple icrap devices again.
          nickrdea
          • I've owned 10 WP phones and 7 Surfaces tablets

            and every one of them broke. Yes, I can make-up nonsense numbers, too. I do not believe a word of what you said.
            1,2,3
          • Too bad!

            I recommend Nokia. Been using one since 2007. Dropped it a million times, with battery and lid and phone card jumping in all directions. Put it back and still works. Forgot it in pouring rain on the hood of my car. Left it to dry on the car heater and was as good as ever. Still runs perfectly exactly 6 years after purchase! If it ever breaks down, I've already purchased a brand new phone, same model (E50) to replace it! It's light, small and packs a lot of software that I use.
            Kostaghus
        • Re: pretty sad way to throw good R&D money down the drain

          Considering that it made Samsung more profitable than Apple...
          ldo17
    • Wait a second...

      Owl,Net (formerly OwlllllllllNet) is getting money from Samsung? Sweet! I see nothing wrong with that. All I can think is "how can I get in on that?"

      And if he's making money to sit here trolling zdNet forums to bash Apple, he's a heck of a lot smarter than you.
      Jacob VanWagoner
      • That was

        Exactly what I thought, what a clever guy!
        Koymik
  • They are all standing in line to buy phone condoms lol

    silly iFools
    everss02
  • Well.. except that a significant number of those lined up...

    Are repeat buyers. This isn't a bad thing, but it kind of misses a point.

    It's like arguing that there's no 'sci-fi' fatigue because there are line ups at every Sci Fi convention, not considering that you're seeing mostly the same group of people every year.

    The fact that no one lines up for other conventions doesn't mean that SciFi wins - it just means SciFi fans are different.

    In the same way, most people don't have the (to most people, strange) relationship with their phones and computer that Apple fans do. We don't line up for the next phone from say Samsung because it's just not that important a thing in our lives. It's a phone. We like it. It works and gets things done they way we want them do be done.

    But we wouldn't stand in line for one. Or choose our bed partners or friends by phone preference.

    Because, you know, that's pathological.
    TheWerewolf
  • 5c colors!

    Pretty good marketing by Apple. Put out about the same basic phone but give it some colors. Don't people realize if they put a case on it that it won't matter because you'll just see the case? iPhones are not any better (if as good) as "most" other smart phones. I'm on my 3rd iPhone 5 in 9 months because it just quits working and become a brick. Can't wait until February when I can trade it for a Android OS phone, which is what I had before. Apple products are just a status symbol, no better or worse than other brands in the majority of cases. I work in IT so I deal with them all. It's like do you want a Craftsman hammer or a Stanley hammer? They will both do the job! On another note, it is hilarious to see all these people in line waiting to get a new iPhone. They should get a real life. Haven't they ever heard not to buy the 1st version/model of something? Nevermind - they can be the test mice for the rest of us :)
    mvedwar
    • sell the POS on craiglist

      Get a Nokia Lumia, never a case needed, never breaks
      everss02