Apple started selling its iPhone 6 and 6 Plus today, with sales in-store kicking off at Apple Store retail locations beginning at 8 a.m. local time. The lines this year are longer than they have been in recent memory, if not ever for an iPhone launch, and by all accounts this is shaping up to be probably the most successful iPhone launch day in history — provided there’s plenty of stock on hand to satisfy the gathering throngs.
Lines at Apple’s 5th Avenue store go on for at least five city blocks, for instance, and is estimated to be well over 1,000 people deep at last count. Queues elsewhere around the world are also snaking around city streets and packed with folks.
Apple’s main store in Toronto at the Eaton Centre had already amassed a long line that snaked around the entire upper floor of the mall where it’s located when I dropped by last night, with people spanning an area of about two city blocks indoors wrapping around and doubling back in a massive throng of people.
I spoke to the first three people in line: Frank Cranton, a Canadian soldier just back from Afghanistan who’d been there since Monday and who had never owned an iPhone before, only iPads; Ishan Vadera, who’d been there since Tuesday and who was a repeat iPhone owner but who wanted this device especially badly; and Bruno Wong from Canadian startup Orchard, an exchange marketplace for used iPhone devices.
Speaking to those in line revealed that most were drawn to this device because of the bigger screen and impressive new design Apple launched with the 6, though there were also many who were interested in the camera and other new features. For many near the front, this was an upgrade from devices older than the 5s, or their very first iPhone and a switch from Android.
The scale of this launch, at least as witnessed first-hand at the Eaton Centre, far exceeds previous new device releases, so it’ll be interesting to see what that means in terms of launch weekend iPhone 6 and 6 Plus sales.