iPhone launch day isn’t what it used to be . . .

iPhone launch day isn’t what it used to be . . .
[Photo: courtesy of Apple]

There is a line at San Francisco’s flagship Apple Store to buy the new iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, but that may be the exception to the rule. Reports from around the world are saying the lines to buy the new iPhones aren’t nearly as long as on launch days past, if there are lines at all.

A person at the Apple store in San Francisco’s Union Square just told me that about 100 people are waiting in line as of 10:10 a.m. Pacific Time. Meanwhile, the launch in Asia was “muted,” according to Reuters earlier today.

The new cellular Apple Watch and the Apple TV 4K also went on sale today.

There are two reasons for the “muted” launch:

  1. Many of the same Apple enthusiasts who would normally show up for launch day are likely holding out for the top-of-the line iPhone X, which will go on sale in November. NPD research suggest an equal number of people are holding out for the X as are buying iPhone 8 or 8 Plus.
  2. Buyers now have the option to make personal pick-up appointments at the store or just pre-order online and have it shipped.

These shots grabbed from Twitter tell the tale of the launches in New York City, San Antonio, Pasadena, and Brisbane, Australia:

The simple fact that Apple is starting to release more phone models to fit different tastes and needs–instead of launching one hero device–is bound to drain some of the hype out of launch days.

Still, investors don’t seem to like the new normal. Apple stock is off 1.3% in mid-afternoon trading in New York, and is down more than 5% this week.MS