Vietnamese ‘campers’ were among thousands who gathered outside the Apple store along Orchard Road in Singapore from Thursday night for the anticipated launch of the iPhone X in the following morning.
Wrist tags were used to allow queuers to leave the line without losing their place.
Store employees told a Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper correspondent at the scene that nearly 500 wrist tags had been handed out as of 7:30 pm the same evening, a day before the official launch.
The iPhone X, which is Apple's 10th anniversary phone, retails at S$1,648 (US$1,210) for the entry-level 64GB model, and S$1,888 ($1,386) for the 256GB model.
Police officers were dispatched to the scene to maintain order as thousands lined up for nearly 200 meters outside of the zigzag queue area.
Queuers could be heard speaking Chinese, Vietnamese and Indian English, most of whom having showed up since the day before.
|Long lines are seen outside the Apple store along Orchard Road in Singapore, November 2, 2017 Photo: Tuoi Tre|
A group of over 20 Vietnamese said they had camped outside the store since Saturday, but were not allowed to queue until Wednesday.
People with wrist tags were told to go home for sleep and return at 6:00 am on Friday.
H., an iPhone dealer from Vietnam, said he had hired three ‘campers’ at the price of S$200 ($147) each and pay for their expenses to queue for the flagship phone since Wednesday.
The Ho Chi Minh City-based businessman said he had received orders for at least eight iPhone X’s, including a customer who wanted to buy four 256GB devices at VND89 million ($3,918) each on the condition that the phones arrive in Hanoi on Friday evening.
|Apple store employees attach wrist tags to queuers. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
Early Friday, some stores in Vietnam put up the price of over VND58 million ($2,555) for the 64GB model for those who want to be the first to own the device in the country, which has no official Apple store.
Expectedly, local market prices plunged below VND40 million ($1,762) in the afternoon when more phones arrived from Singapore.
Apple in September took the wraps off its much-anticipated iPhone X, a glass and stainless steel device with an edge-to-edge display that Chief Executive Tim Cook called “the biggest leap forward since the original iPhone.”
In a statement on Thursday, Apple said the initial response for the iPhone X showed that customer demand was "off the charts", adding that it was "working hard" to get the device "into the hands of every customer who wants one, as quickly as possible", Channel News Asia reported.