- Much-anticipated launch of Apple iPhone X with its facial-recognition software got underway today
- Key new feature is Animoji, which lets you turn your face into an animated character such as a panda
- Device is testing patience of consumers and investors with demand outstripping supply worldwide
With an eye-watering price tag of £999, these customers will be hoping for some decent bang for their buck.
But that didn’t put off Apple fans as the much-anticipated iPhone X’s with its lush screen and facial-recognition skills tests the patience of consumers and investors with demand outstripping supply around the world.
And those who managed to get their hands on one this morning will be pleased to know they are sitting on potential gold mines, with devices already listed for sale on auction website eBay for up to £15,000.
The X is Apple’s next generation smartphone that uses facial recognition software for the first time and is going on sale in cities worldwide today – with queues building at Apple Stores amid rumours of limited stock.
Among the first to get the new device in Britain was reality TV contestant Marco Pierre White Jr, 22, the son of the celebrity chef, who joined the queue last night to pick up a phone for his girlfriend Francesca Suter.
LONDON: People queue outside the Apple Store on Regent Street in London as the iPhone X goes on sale in the UK
LONDON: The queue for the new iPhone X at the Regent Street Apple Store in Central London this morning
LONDON: The new phone will be the first iPhone to use FaceID, facial recognition software used to unlock the device
LONDON: Apple customers try out the new iPhone X at the Regent Street Apple Store in London today
LONDON: The queue builds this morning outside the Apple store in Covent Garden in London as the iPhone X comes out
LIVERPOOL: A huge queue builds outside the Liverpool One Apple store in the city centre ahead of the iPhone X release today
LIVERPOOL: Coffee and donuts are handed out to people who have queued through the night for the new iPhone X
MANCHESTER: Hundreds of Apple fans queue outside the Apple Store at the Trafford Centre in Manchester this morning
MANCHESTER: People wait for the iPhone X at the Trafford Centre in Manchester as Apple fans around the world queued up
BATH: Fiona Gray, 54, was the first in the queue for the new iPhone X at Southgate Apple Store in Bath
BRISTOL: The queue for the new iPhone X at Quakers Friars Apple Store in Bristol this morning
Conspiracy theorists might suspect that Apple is artificially reducing supply to generate buzz, but analysts say the real reason is that Apple’s suppliers so far haven’t been able to manufacture the iPhone X quickly enough.
The new phone will be the first iPhone to use FaceID, facial recognition software used to unlock the device while also removing the Home button for the first time to make way for a larger, OLED screen.
One of the iPhone X’s key new features is Animoji, which lets you turn your face – captured by the new face recognition camera – into an animated character, such as a panda or even a poo.
Making the iPhone X is proving to be a challenge because it boasts a colour-popping OLED screen, which isn’t as readily available as standard LCD displays in other iPhone models.
iPhone X devices are already listed for sale on auction website eBay for up to £15,000
CHINA: Workers staff cheer for the first man to buy the newly released iPhone X at the Sanlitun Apple Store in Beijing today
CHINA: The first customer shows his new iPhone X after buying it at an Apple Store in Beijing this morning
CHINA: Workers open the door to welcome Apple fans at the Sanlitun Apple Store in Beijing this morning
The new iPhone also requires more sophisticated components to power the facial-recognition technology for unlocking the device. Even with the iPhone X’s delayed release, Apple is still struggling to catch up.
Apple is now giving delivery times of five to six weeks for those ordering in advance online. Limited supplies will be available in Apple stores for the formal release Friday.
‘The Super Bowl for Apple is the iPhone X,’ GBH analyst Daniel Ives said. ‘That is the potential game changer.’
In Hong Kong, buyers who had pre-ordered the phone online queued to pick up their new purchases, saying they were willing to pay for what they saw as a landmark model.
RUSSIA: People gather by a re:Store shop on Tverskaya Street in Moscow as Apple launches the iPhone X in Russia today
RUSSIA: People gather by a re:Store shop in Tverskaya Street as Apple launches iPhone X sales in Moscow
RUSSIA: A customer poses with iPhone X smartphones at a Svyaznoy store in Tverskaya Street as sales begin in Moscow
‘It’s the 10th anniversary phone – anyway, other phones like the Samsung are not much less,’ said banker Tony Yeung, 35, as he queued outside the Apple store in Hong Kong’s Festival Walk mall.
‘It’s convenient. You can unlock the phone just by holding it up to your face in bed after you wake up,’ Mr Yeung added.
He said he had bought two of the 64 GB version, costing HK$8,588 (£843) each, one for him and one for his wife. The 256 GB model costs HK$9,888 (£972).
Student Keith Li said all his friends were changing to the new phone and had set aside money for it. Mr Li, 22, had traded in his old phone to help him meet the cost.
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: Customers queue outside an Apple Store during the launch of the new iPhone X at Dubai Mall today
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: A customer looks at the new iPhone X at an Apple Store during its launch at Dubai Mall in Dubai
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: Customers look at the new iPhone X at an Apple Store during its launch at Dubai Mall in Dubai
Inside the Hong Kong store, those still considering whether to buy were trying out facial recognition after concerns it may compromise the security of the phone.
Nam So, 36, said he was happy to use it, preferring it to touch ID, which opens the phone at the touch of a finger. ‘If your thumb is sweaty then it won’t unlock. Face ID would solve this problem,’ he said.
Hours after the launch, re-sellers at the Sin Tat Plaza mall in Hong Kong’s commercial Mong Kok district were offering the phone at a marked up price of HK$11,500 (£1,130).
Around 300 customers waited overnight outside Singapore’s Apple store, the first shop in Southeast Asia to sell the new model.
AUSTRALIA: The first purchasers of the iPhone X show off their boxed phones to the media after its release in Sydney
AUSTRALIA: Apple Store staff shout and whistle to encourage people queuing for the release of the iPhone X in Sydney
AUSTRALIA: Mazen Kourouche (right), one of the first purchasers of the iPhone X, is surrounded by media in Sydney
Supakorn Rieksiri and Kittiwat Wang, both 22, said they had flown in from Bangkok on Thursday to pick up pre-orders of two phones each.
‘With all the different features like facial recognition and the bigger screen, it’s all quite worth it,’ said Rieksiri, adding that the second handset was a gift for his mother.
Apple is setting an ambitious goal for itself to reinvent the smartphone as it strives to fend off fierce competition from rivals, especially in China. The iPhone is its main profit driver, accounting for more than half its revenues.
At one of Shanghai’s largest Apple outlets, buyers said the facial recognition and screen design were reasons they were happy to pay a hefty price.
GERMANY: Various iPhone models are placed on a table for display, along with the iPhone X, at an Apple Store in Cologne
GERMANY: People queue for the iPhone X launch outside the Apple Store in Berlin this morning
GERMANY: Employees prepare the Apple Store for the iPhone X launch in Berlin this morning
‘I get a new phone every year when it launches new products. This time, there are many changes but I feel like the price is acceptable,’ said Wu Yi, 27, adding she had wanted to pre-order more phones online but they had sold out too quickly.
In Australia, around 400 people queued outside Apple’s flagship store in central Sydney to pay A$1,579 (£929) for the 10th anniversary model, a glass-and-stainless-steel device that Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook billed as ‘the biggest leap forward since the original iPhone.’
Just 30 people turned up for the September release of the iPhone 8, an incremental update of the iPhone 7.
‘It’s beautiful bro, what a feeling, I’m excited,’ builder Bishoy Behman, 18, said after picking up two iPhone X as the first in line. He said he camped outside the store for a week before paying to improve his place in the queue overnight.
JAPAN: A young woman reacts as she tries an iPhone X at the Apple Omotesando store this morning in Tokyo
JAPAN: Customers wait in line before the launch of the iPhone X outside the Apple Omotesando store in Tokyo today
JAPAN: Customers pose for a selfie photo with a cushion printed with a portrait of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs on it in Tokyo
In Apple’s Omotesando store in Tokyo, some 550 people were waiting in a line stretching to around 600 metres.
‘I’m going home, and after having a rest, I’d like to have fun (with the phone),’ said first-in-line Yamaura, a 21-year-old college student who spent six days in the queue.
In Singapore, two tourists from Thailand – which is not an initial launch market – were the first to receive pre-ordered phones at a flagship store in the Orchard shopping district.
Arbitrage traders were also in line in an attempt to take advantage of the strong demand. In Hong Kong, some buyers quickly resold iPhone X handsets for a profit, but the resale premium eased as waiting times fell and supply concerns eased.
SINGAPORE: People look at iPhone X during its launch at the Apple Store in Singapore
SINGAPORE: One of the first customers, Mod, 22, from Bangkok, poses with his iPhone X during its launch at the Apple Store
SINGAPORE: A man tries out the Animoji feature on an iPhone X during its launch at the Apple Store in Singapore
SINGAPORE: People try the Animoji feature on iPhone X during its launch at the Apple Store in Singapore
Newly purchased iPhone X were reselling for HK$11,800 (£1,160) soon after sales began, but the price quickly fell to HK$10,300 (£1,012), a trader said. In mainland China – where Hong Kong traders often sell newly purchased goods – the anniversary model’s starting price is 8,388 yuan (£970).
In Beijing, Zhou Ying, an iPhone trader since 2010, bought two iPhone X from re-sellers at a premium of 300 yuan (£34), hoping to make several hundred yuan (£46) in profit.
But China iPhone sales have sagged in recent years as consumers switch to cheaper phones, while China becoming a launch market has hit demand for Hong Kong handsets.
‘It is getting harder and harder for us to scalp iPhones. It is not the same as before,’ said Ms Zhou.
Lines also started to form outside Apple’s New York City stores yesterday evening, with a salesperson at one shop in the Upper West Side saying about 20 people had queued up so far.
Two new iPhone Xs are broken by clumsy users in China
At least two of Apple’s brand-new iPhone Xs have been broken by clumsy users in China – and their pictures are going viral with nearly 10 million views in just 24 hours.
The much-anticipated flagship device has barely been released for a day following the start of official sales this morning.
But a viral video from one user, as well as images posted by another owner, show that two of the phones have already fallen victim to their handler’s butter fingers.
At least two of Apple’s brand-new iPhone Xs have been broken by clumsy users in China – and their pictures are going viral
The clip shot in China shows the owner holding a broken silver iPhone X in his hand.
The front display appears to still be on, but the screen as well as the new glass back are cracked and completely destroyed. ‘I think this is a better look, no?’ the man says jokingly in the video, adding: ‘What do you think?’
Pictures of the second broken iPhone X show what appears to be a crack in the corner of the device, suggesting that the user likely dropped the device as well. ‘How much will it cost to fix this?’ he wrote in his picture captions.
LONDON: Marco Pierre White Jr speaks to another man as he queues for the iPhone X at the Regent Street store in London
LONDON: Reality TV contestant Marco Pierre White Jr gets a new iPhone X at the Regent Street Apple Store in London today
Pierre White Jr beamed with glee as he headed into the store, hugged an employee and then proudly held the iPhone X
TAIWAN: Taiwanese people queue outside an Apple Store to purchase the new Apple iPhone X today in Taipei, Taiwan
HONG KONG: Customers line up to buy the new iPhone X as they reserved online earlier at an Apple Store in Hong Kong
HONG KONG: An Apple employee counts a customer’s money as they pay for a new iPhone X at an Apple Store in Hong Kong
Facial recogniition, 12 megapixel camera and portrait lighting for photographs: Behind the new iPhone X
– $999 (£999 in the UK) price for 64GB version, and $1,149 (£1,149 in the UK) for the 256GB version
– Pronounced the ‘iPhone 10’
– Comes with 64GB and 256GB models
– No home button – swipe up from the bottom to unlock or to go home from an app or to multitask
– ‘Face ID’ that allows users to unlock the phone by looking at it (but no fingerprint recognition)
The iPhone X has ditched the home button, making room for an almost edgeless display with glass on both sides of the device
– Qi and AirPower wireless charging that lets you charge multiple devices at once
– ‘Screen tap’ unlock
– Edge to edge display with glass on both sides of the device
– Super retina display using OLED technology – highest ever pixel density in an iPhone
– Dual 12 megapixel cameras and dual-optical image stabilisation
– Portrait lighting that uses machine learning to touch up photos
– A11 bionic chips with six cores, can be 70 per cent faster than the previous A10 chip
– But 64-bit A11 bionic system processor with an embedded M11 motion coprocessor is the same as iPhone 8 (£300)
What can we expect from the iPhone X launch today?
WHEN WAS THE IPHONE X RELEASED?
Pre-orders for the highly-anticipated device opened on Friday last week, and the iPhone X sold out within minutes. But general sales for the device opened today at 8am GMT (4am EST).
An Apple spokesman said: ‘Stores in most countries will have iPhone X available for walk-in customers, who are encouraged to arrive early.’
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
The iPhone X doesn’t come cheap, and is Apple’s most expensive smartphone yet.
Apple is releasing two versions – a 64GB version, which will start as £999 ($999 in the US), and a 256GB version, which will retail for £1,149 ($1,149).
WHAT ARE THE KEY FEATURES?
The iPhone X has ditched the home button, making room for an almost edgeless display with glass on both sides of the device.
To use the device, users must now swipe up from the bottom of the screen.
Facial recognition has also been added to the device, which Apple calls Face ID. Users can now simply look at their phone to unlock it.
Wireless charging has also been added, allowing you to charge your iPhone X by placing it on a charging mat.
The iPhone X has a super retina display that uses OLED technology, providing the highest ever pixel density in an iPhone.
In terms of camera, the iPhone X has dual 12MP cameras, with dual optical image stabilisation and quad LED true tone flash.
The front camera is a breakthrough for selfies, and can take photos in Portrait Mode with Portrait Lighting.
The smartphone has also been tuned for augmented reality capabilities in apps including Pokemon Go.
The augmented reality technology uses the phone’s sensors to detect things like depth of field, ambient light and motion sensors in order to naturally place digital objects in a real-world scene.
WHAT ARE SALES EXPECTED TO BE LIKE?
While the launch of the iPhone 8 at the end of September was met with a lukewarm response, experts predict that sales of the iPhone X will be huge.
Ipsos Retail Performance, which monitors high street footfall, is predicting an unusually-high level of demand for the iPhone X, with footfall in the two weeks following the launch set to be up 25 per cent month-on-month, the third biggest rise on record.
In comparison, last year’s iPhone 7 resulted in an 18.8 per cent rise, while the iPhone 8 launch in September saw a rise of just 10.2 per cent.