Pre-orders take bite out of launch day fever.
Apple’s iPhone 7 has been greeted by shorter queues than in previous years as customers turned to pre-orders and other methods to get their hands on one of the new smartphones.
About 100 fans – or people holding places in the queue in exchange for cash – braved wet weather to queue in front of Sydney’s flagship Apple store. (Apple found some umbrellas for those who came less-prepared).
A smaller queue was on hand opposite at the Telstra store.
In Melbourne, “hundreds” of smartphone buyers queued, according to news reports, though there was little chaos at retail opening time, and carriers had not sold out of their stock early.
In Brisbane CBD, the number of those queued for the device outside the Apple store was initially put at “about 100” before being revised back to a “handful”.
In Perth, about 30 people queued in front of the Hay Street Apple store, while similar numbers attended the Apple store at Garden City.
The increasing trend to pre-order Apple’s new smartphones is believed to be a key reason for the shrinking queue sizes, which were once the hallmark of new iPhone releases.
However, even pre-orders were not a guarantee of getting a device on launch day. Telstra admitted this week it took too many pre-orders, leaving many customers frustrated with phones listed as being on “backorder” or with extended ship dates.
Also left frustrated were iPhone 6s owners that had bought into a Telstra scheme called New Phone Feeling, which lets them get a new phone every year for $149 plus the cost of a new 24-month contract.
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