Apple’s iPhone 8 went on sale around the world on 22nd September, but the demand for the company’s latest smartphone appeared muted, as the debut generated smaller crowds than launches of previous iPhone models.
In Australia, previous iPhone debuts found hundreds of customers queued at Apple’s store in Sydney, but fewer than 30 individuals lined up to purchase an iPhone 8 on Friday before opening time.
The same situation unfolded throughout Europe and Asia. At the Apple store on Regent Street in London, only several eager purchasers were in line when the store opened, while Apple’s Glasgow store on Buchanan Street only had two teenagers waiting outside. USA Today noted that lines in the US were “orderly and short.”
Weibo, a popular Chinese website that many commentators consider a good indicator of consumer interest, had many fewer mentions of the iPhone 8 than of Apple’s previous two iPhones before their launches.
According to industry sources, UK mobile retailers have seen fewer first-day and pre-order sales of the iPhone 8 than expected and at levels much lower than those experienced for the iPhone 7 launch last year. Most sources attributed the lacklustre sales to the significant interest in the iPhone X, which will be available for pre-order from 27th October.
Jun Zhang, an analyst with Rosenblatt Securities, noted that pre-orders for the iPhone 8 in the US lagged far behind those for last year’s iPhone 7 and that the demand in China was even lower. The lacklustre demand in Hong Kong has already forced retailers to lower their prices.