The launch: “incredible” demand, Tim Cook & Co. at Palo Alto store, line vids the world over

By , Sep 20, 2013

iPhone 5s launch in munich

If it is Friday, you must be standing in line for the new iPhones. As the iPhone 5c officially hits stores and the iPhone 5s opens for both pre-sales and retail customers, Apple describes the rush to own the new smartphones as “incredible.” From a Silicon Valley appearance by CEO Tim Cook to Hong Kong’s own gold rush, talk of a down-and-out Apple is forgotten amid the lines and excited iPhone fanatics.

Acknowledging to AllThingsD that some models of iPhone 5s are “sold out or in limited supply,” Apple reportedly is asking its suppliers to increase production by a third.

Gold is in – particularly when it comes to Apple’s just-released iPhone 5s…

Citing “people familiar with the situation”, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that the company “after seeing strong demand” is asking Asian suppliers to boost production of the iPhone 5s by one-third additional handsets.

Among that demand is Hong Kong, which apparently has fallen in love with the gold iPhone 5s.

“Hong Kong has always been a major iPhone market for consumers in mainland China who want to get a hold of new models at the same time as the global launch,” reports the Journal.

In past years, new iPhones appeared in Hong Kong “months before they came to mainland China.”

At one Hong Kong Apple store, a line of customers stretched around the building, seemingly longer than last year’s wait for the iPhone 5.

The iPhone 5c does not seem to be taking the edge off demand for the more expensive handset. Although the smartphone is available in many colors, customers told the newspaper the gold metallic casing of the iPhone 5s is more attractive.

In New York, by 8:45 a.m. Friday more than 1,400 consumers had lined up in front of Apple’s Fifth Ave. store, requiring a seven-minute wait just to get inside, according to Fortune. “Everybody we asked was hoping to buy an iPhone 5s. Or two,” writes Philip Elmer-DeWitt.

On the other side of the US, Apple executives spanned out among California iPhone buyers. CEO Tim Cook appeared at the Palo Alto University Apple Store, while iTunes chief Eddy Cue and marketing head Phil Schiller spoke to shoppers waiting at the company’s new retail store in the Stanford Shopping Center, according to 9to5Mac.

Tim Cook at Palo Alto store 002Tim Cook at Palo Alto store 001

In Europe, the gold-colored iPhone 5s sold out at Apple’s Regent Street store with 2,000 people lined up in Munich, according to Bloomberg. The only short lines seemed to be in Beijing, where customers had to make online reservations.

This iPhone launch marks the first time customers in China won’t have to wait for three months to buy new iPhones. The switch was partly due to Apple’s desire to attract China Mobile, the world’s largest carrier.

But for those not wanting to deal with lines and all the retail headache, there can even be antacid moments online. While online orders are available for the iPhone 5s, shipping times have slipped 10 days into October.

Here’s De-Witt walking the line at Apple’s Fifth Avenue store.

Although Apple has yet to announce any specific pre-sale or sales figures yet, one analyst forecasts up to 6 million new iPhones could be sold over the weekend, according to AppleInsider. We may hear Monday from Apple on whether that is right.

Here’s the iPhone 5s/5c double unboxing vid.

How does the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c presales compare to the iPhone 5? When the iPhone 5 launched, Apple announced presales of 2 million iPhones in the first 24 hours “shattered” the previous record held by the iPhone 4S.

And here’s your first (and pointless) iPhone 5s/5c “drop test”.

Just as this year, customers hoping to grab an iPhone 5 lined up early in front of Apple’s New York City store. This year, with China being on par with other launch nations, we should learn the impact the world’s largest group of consumers has on sales of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c.

More line videos from around the world, via Fortune:

Tokyo
Sydney
Paris
London
Berlin
Münich
New York

A new iPhone can still draw a crowd – doomed, indeed!

Next week should provide us with some jaw-dropping sales numbers.

Cody has already bought his gold iPhone 5s while Sebastien and Jeff went with the more subdued Space Gray variant.

Jeff has a clip up covering his early iPhone 5s impressions and a detailed video walkthrough of the iPhone 5s Touch ID sensor. Do check back throughout the day as the iDB team shares additional thoughts and hands-on impressions.

Image top of post: Apple’s retail store this morning in Münich, Germany.

If you’ve captured a nice line vid or snapped a photo depicting the crowd, feel free to drop them at tips@idonwloadblog.com and I may updated the article with your best work.

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  • JoJo

    Im calling bullshit on the 5c drop test!!!

    When you pauze the video on exactly 4:08 you can see that after the main drop when it bounces of the ground the screen is perfectly fine.

    The small bump that follows can NEVER shatter a screen that much.

    Since their website is called android authority I suspect they were a little disappointed that both phones held out better than any (android) competition so far.

    • Mohammed Sahib

      I call B.S. on all drop test vids. They are inaccurate, do not take into account the tens of variables that can affect the result and are plain ridiculous. I enjoy watching them however :P

      • JoJo

        Agreed :P

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        I’m pretty sure the fact that drop tests aren’t conducted scientifically helps to obtain an approximation of a devices durability simply because of the fact that the drop is done randomly (as it is in reality – at least I hope you don’t drop your devices on purpose). I agree that you can’t really compare the iPhone 5s and 5c to each other and other phones though in terms of durability simply because as you said the tests are not done scientifically. As far as common sense goes though metal is always going to be stronger than plastic even if it is beautiful unapologetic plastic…

    • Aamir Mir

      i saw this on 9to5mac first. clear android fanboys trying to make the iphones look bad

      • Joseph

        If they were they would’ve tried to do so on the 5s, not the 5C, which is the lower end phone. If they want to make a flagship phone look bad, do it to the better one.

        The iPhone 5s and 5C also have the same screen, so anyone with two brain cells would be able to tell that it’s pure chance that it cracked like that upon falling, assuming it wasn’t a fake.

    • seyss

      while I agree with you, even though the glass looks in one piece after the first bump, it may have fatigued and show almost no sign of it

  • Oscar Nigma

    If it is Friday, I’m in love.

  • Tommy Gumbs

    I woke up at 10 am. Drove to my Att store 5 miles down the road and 15 min later left with my 5s.

    Got a chance to hold and inspect the 5C, It’s worth the cheaper price, but not worth my time. Looks cheap and un appealing.

  • Lance Baker

    My local Best Buy is now doing reservation. I went this morning shorlty after they opened to preorder a 64GB AT&T in Space Gray. At noon I got an email that it had arrived. Awesome!! I’m due for upgrade on Sunday so I’m glad they hold it.

  • Mike Westra

    Like i’ve you see it idonwloadblog! hehe

  • seyss

    fake

  • 19SK91

    Munich or München but Münich is wrong.

  • Manu Bulteau

    I saw the drop test video. This dude needs an iphone to discover something known since glass exists: glass shatters.