iPhone 8 Sees Bleak Response In Australia As Buyers Await iPhone X

Apple latest flagships, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, went on sale at Apple stores on Friday. Sydney was among the first cities to get the phones, but it seems like people are not as excited about the newest phones this year as they were in previous launches.

iPhone 8 and 8 Plus
Image Source: (screenshot)

Users are probably waiting for the launch of the iPhone X, which is why the long lines outside the Apple Stores that have been a common sight post-iPhone launches are nowhere to be seen, says Reuters. A source told Reuters that it was a “bleak turnout” on Friday with fewer than 30 people in the queue before the Sydney Apple Store on George Street opened.

Mazen Kourouche, who reviews products on YouTube and was first in the queue, noted that there are some modest changes in the device.

“(It) is pretty similar to the iPhone 7 but it shoots 4k 60 frames per second and it’s got a new glass back instead of the metal which is apparently more durable,” Kourouche told Reuters.

On the feature front, however, the iPhone 8 does not have much to offer, he added.

Apple shares nosedived following poor iPhone 8 and 8 Plus reviews. Investors who were not happy with the way the device panned out pushed the shares down to a nearly two-month low. What is worrying investors that pre-orders are lower than they have been in previous launches, notes The New York Times.

Usually, the number of pre-orders is a good indicator of how well the newest iPhones will sell. However, hours after both the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus were available, there were not many takers, and there was still stock left with September 22 delivery dates available either online or for in-store pickup, notes MacRumors. Mentions of the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus and iPhone X were fewer on the popular Chinese social media platform Weibo than mentions of the iPhone models in the previous two launches.

According to Neil Cybart, an analyst who covers Apple for Above Avalon, “I think demand is down from last year, for no other reason than you have another flagship phone.”

This could result in weekend sales being lower than at any other point since the launch of the iPhone 6 in 2014, the analyst says. Further, the steep price increase for the iPhone 8 over the price of its predecessors could also dent sales going forward.

BTIG Research analyst Walt Piecyk also believes that other than anticipation for the iPhone X, lack of carrier promotions could be another reason for the lukewarm response to today’s iPhone launch. Piecyk stated that wireless carriers are not interested in promoting the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, and this might not change even when the iPhone X launches, says the Financial Times.

Apple’s iPhone X will be available for pre-order starting October 27 with a price tag of $999. The iPhone X comes with an edge-to-edge screen, an improved camera and a new facial recognition system. Rumors suggest that the iPhone X supply will not be enough to meet demand until next year. Apple CEO Tim Cook described the iPhone X  as “the biggest leap forward since the original iPhone.”

On Thursday, Apple shares closed down 1.72% at $153.99. Year to date, the stock is up more than 32%, while in the last year, it is up more than 33%.