Retailers in Kamloops reported brisk sales Friday of Apple’s latest iPhone, a trend repeated across the globe.
Future Shop opened its doors at 8 a.m., two hours earlier than usual, to sell the first iPhone 5 units in Kamloops.
Store manager Blair Jamieson said a half-dozen people waited outside the doors to get their hands on the much-hyped gadget.
“There’s big excitement around the iPhone,” Jamieson said, adding early demand appears to meet or exceed earlier releases, including the 4S model.
Sales are expected to be strong into the holiday period.
Mitch Hughes, cellphone manager at Visions Electronics downtown said he was selling plenty of iPhone 5s Friday, adding the performance and larger screen size are major benefits.
“We’ve got four out the door already and haven’t been open a half hour,” he said early Friday morning.
Hughes said he expects demand for Apple’s latest smartphone to beat earlier iPhone models.
“Already there’s more traffic generated.”
Apple received two million orders in the first 24 hours of announcing its release date, more than twice the number for the iPhone 4S in the same period when that phone launched a year ago.
Eager buyers formed long lines Friday at Apple stores in Asia, Europe and North America to be the first to get their hands on the latest version of the smartphone.
In Toronto, about 100 people were lined up in the Eaton Centre at 7 a.m., waiting for the doors of the Apple store to open.
One man named Dani told Toronto radio station 680 News he had been waiting in line since late Wednesday night, and when asked why he replied: “What answer will make me seem less crazy?”
In New York, several hundred people lined up outside Apple’s 5th Avenue store. Jimmy Peralta, a 30-year-old business management student, waited three hours before getting the chance to buy his new gadget. Was it worth the wait?
“Definitely,” he said, noting that the new phone’s larger screen and lighter weight compelled him to upgrade from the iPhone 4. “A little treat for me on a Friday morning, why not? Why not be part of something fantastic? It’s just such a smartphone it does all the thinking for you, you can’t get any easier than that.”
Catheryne Caveed, 23, was in line at a Verizon store in the Queens borough of New York. An iPhone 4 user, she had no regrets about skipping last year’s model, the iPhone 4S. The only real upgrade in the 4S, she said, was Siri, the voice-controlled “personal assistant.”
“The 4S looked the same as the 4,” Caveed said. With the 5, “everything is different — even the headphones.”
Apple’s stock was up less than one per cent, or $5.61, to $704.23 in late morning trading.
In Hong Kong, the first customers were greeted by staff cheering, clapping, chanting “iPhone 5, iPhone 5!” and high-fiving them as they were escorted one-by-one through the front door.
The iPhone 5 is thinner, lighter, has a taller screen, faster processor, updated software and can work on faster “fourth-generation” mobile networks.
The smartphone has become a hot seller despite a new map app that early users have deemed inferior to Google Maps, the software it replaces.