On Friday, September 22, Apple’s latest iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus smartphones and the new Apple Watch Series 3 smartwatches went on sale around the world at 8am local time.

If you’ve ever wondered how the company prepares for an iPhone launch day, BuzFeed News has you covered with a video offering an inside look at Apple’s war room with the company’s head of retail Angela Ahrendts.

Among other things, the clip shows Apple engineers gathered around a video wall comprised of a dozen big screen TVs that display various stats related to iPhone pre-orders in launch countries, with near real-time updates.

Here are a few interesting tidbits:

  • Over half of the orders on launch night come through the Apple Store app
  • Ahead of the launch, Ahrendts goes on a hype tour visiting multiple retail stores and pumping up the teams of the ground.
  • The USP sorting facility in Louisville, Kentucky is crucial for an Apple product launch as it receives cargo and planes carrying new iPhones from Apple’s factories in China.
  • Because the volume is so large, the facility sets aside a special time to sort just Apple products using miles of conveyer belts.
  • All of the shipments sorted in the facility must be prepared and delivered to Apple Stores and customers’ homes the next day.

A just-in-time operation of this kind would be a major logistical nightmare for any other company given the sheer volume of gadgets Apple ships on a launch day, not just to its own outlets but those of its retailers and carrier partners.

But over the years of building and shipping an ever-increasing number of products, Apple has nailed this process to perfection thanks in no small part to Tim Cook who in the Jobs era was highly regarded as its supply chain maestro.

But if you trust big media, the new iPhones got lukewarm reception from fans.

As an example, Reuters reported there were fewer than 30 people lined up outside the Sydney Apple store on Friday. Many other outlets ran headlines taking this is “proof” of supposedly subdued interest in iPhones (gotta make that ad revenue somehow).

We, of course, know perfectly well that the long lines stopped being a thing a few years ago. With improved launch availability, carrier reservations and pre-orders, many people choose to buy their new iPhone online and have it delivered to their doorstep or their nearest Apple retail store with an in-store pickup option.

No, I’m not disregarding the iPhone X effect.

It’s true that some (many?) people have undoubtedly been holding out for Apple’s premium OLED handset which launches November 3. I’m definitely among those people. Here in Croatia, Europe where I’m located, the new phones were readily available in many stores on the launch day.

From what I’ve heard talking to a few random people in stores, the normals are digging the new phones.

Hardcore fans, however, find the virtually unchanged iPhone design for the third year in a row tiring so they’ve decided to wait for the premium iPhone X because nothing screams “new” as that bright, vivid OLED screen on a nearly full-screen buttonless face.

How about you?

Are you waiting for the X?

  • techfreak23

    *UPS Worldport

  • Jamessmooth

    “X gon give it to ya!”
    Also I would say MOST people are holding out for X. My god it’s going to be bananas for pre orders!

    • Juan Genao

      Yep, I suspect by next morning the ship dates will be 2018.

      • LOL, by next morning, you wish! By next minute, it’s gonna be 2018. No exaggeration!

  • ‘Ariff

    X all the way!

  • Juan Genao

    X FACTOR

  • Fanboy 

    X! This article is right. Same design for the 3rd year in a row definitely made me not even consider getting the iPhone 8, and waiting for the X!

    • Wilber Alexander Flores

      Love the iPhone 4 look on the plus. Has a bit of a nostalgic feel for me. Got the 8 plus gold 🙂

      • Siri Tim Cook Holness

        8 plus sucks it’s just iterative trash and has ugly chin and forehead

  • JulianZH

    going to wait for next year.

  • Mark S

    Should have added none as an option in the poll.

  • Chris de Wit

    Yep, I suspect by next morning the ship dates will be 2018.

  • Up Stream

    NEEDS A NONE OPTION!

  • Humphrey van Lee

    Going for the 7, now it dropped in price 🙂

  • daniel

    juist got the new Apple TV 4k, no iPhones this year because the iPhone 8 plus would feel like my iPhone 7 plus apart from the hardware upgrade but as design I wouldn’t think its so different and iPhone x to me it feels just like a prototype so ill wait until new iPhone comes next year

  • zebonaut

    Lets call it Mission Control

  • Siri Tim Cook Holness

    Waiting for X

  • Siri Tim Cook Holness

    U mean UPS? I’ve never heard of USP

  • R3VVEDUP

    i have a 2017 12.9″ iPad Pro, so the iPhone 8 is good enough for me.