Sunday 17 December 2017

New iPhone 6 hits stores, no date yet for Irish launch

Queues outside the Apple store in Sydney
Queues outside the Apple store in Sydney

Rhiannon Williams

Apple's new iPhones, the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s, have gone on sale around the world, with stores in the UK opening earlier than usual to accommodate huge demand.

Fans have been queuing outside Apple's Covent Garden store in central London store since Monday evening, braving the elements overnight in tents and sleeping bags.

Customers walked into the store accompanied by the whoops and claps of the retail staff, which have become a cornerstone of launches.

However, the queue was a somewhat quieter affair than last year's bumper launch, with around 400 people joining the line. Around 1,000 people queued around the Covent Garden piazza last year, with security patrolling the barriers to keep eager fans in line.

The store doors opened two hours earlier than usual at 8am, with staff letting customers inside one-by-one to avoid an initial mad rush.

In recent years an increasing number of brand promoters have attempted to take advantage of the queueing system, giving their purchased iPhones away as competition prizes or selling their spots for upwards of £1,000.

The new iPhones are the first Apple product launch fans have queued for this year, after the company said it had a "significant change in mindset" and discouraged eager buyers from lining up outside its shops.

Long queues formed outside the Sydney Apple store as customers eagerly waited to get their hands on the new phones. The fourth person in line was an iPad-based telepresence robot, owned by media agency executive Lucy Kelly.

Australia is typically the first country to get new Apple products due to its time zone, and its fans are know for enthusiastically queuing outside stores. Last year. the first person to purchase an iPhone 6 promptly dropped his new device live on TV.

One Australian has been queuing for more than two weeks, since before the new devices were even announced.

There has been no date announced yet for when the new iPhones will retail in Irish stores.

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