iPhone junkies queue up for Apple’s midnight launch

  • M.Rajendran, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Oct 17, 2014 00:29 IST

Sukh Raj Singh, a young entrepreneur in Delhi, has been promised by the authorised Apple reseller at Ambience Mall in the Capital’s Vasant Kunj area, that he will be among the first to get his iPhone6, within five minutes of the clock striking 00:00 hrs on Thursday night.

Singh is one of the thousands of such people across the country hoping to be proud owners of the latest iPhones on Friday. He was camping along with his friends and family at the mall since 10 pm on Thursday.

Sahil Lamba, a BDS student, was in queue at the Apple outlet in the M block market in Greater Kailash. “I booked it on the 7th of this month. I am excited, this is the first time I am making a mid-night purchase…I had only heard of it,” said Lamba.

In the West, and even in countries like China, the practise of queing up for Apple products is a ritual in its own right, and people hit shopfronts days ahead of product releases. The practice of pre-order and phased release was started to avoid this pressure on buyers, but in India, it is still a novelty.

Resellers have hence tried to ensure that the launch and first-day sale have all the elements to make it a memorable event for the buyer. For instance, music maestro AR Rehaman is expected to perform at one store in Chennai. Other outlets have called on regional celebrities and local actors to add to the atmosphere.’

“A young lady has booked 21 iPhones,” said a one of the four authorised distributors of Apple in Delhi. “She plans to give them as Diwali gift to family and friends.”
That is a hefty payout, considering that the cheapest of the six variants of the iPhone6 is priced at Rs 53,500.

The iPhone 6 has 3 variants, priced at Rs 53,500, Rs 62,500 and Rs 71,500 with memory of 32 GB, 64 GB and 128 GB respectively. The larger iPhone 6Plus is priced at Rs 62,500, Rs 71,500 and Rs 80,500 respectively.

Apple’s current rollout is in 27 countries, including China, where the phone has had as many as 20 million advance bookings, according to unconfirmed reports. It also had an event in Cupertino, California, on Thursday to unveil its latest operating system, the OS X Yosemite, available as free upgrade.

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