After months of waiting, Apple’s iPhone 4S is finally in town. Approaching the iPhone fanatics lined up outside Apple’s Store in Sydney George St yesterday evening at 6pm for yet another overnight vigil (some have been queuing since mid-week). They seemed in good spirits with less than 12 hours to go to the holy grail that is iPhone 4S, released today in Australia.
Click to enlarge
|iPhone fans at the top of the queue yesterday evening.|
But it wasn’t just in Sydney where madness was building – Melbourne’s Bourke St appeared also to have a gathering: “quite a crowd building at Melbourne’s Telstra Bourke St store,” one Telstra exec tweeted this morning.
All 13 Apple Stores opened at the earlier time of 8am and a crowd had also buit at Sydney’s Chadstone Store.
So, what is all the fuss about, since it appears to not be a major departure from iPhone 4?
iPhone 4S runs iOS 5, has an 8MP HD video camera, faster dual-core A5 processor, improved antenna and voice activated Siri personal assistant.
And it appears to be going down a treat, so far: “Ahh, the best phone AND the best coverage RT,” one newly endowned iPhone 4S owner tweeted.
But the 4S doesn’t come cheap – costing $799 (16GB), $899 (32GB) model and $999 for the new 64GB model.
It already sold one million units on pre-order worldwide (the biggest ever for an Apple device) with telcos here including Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and Virgin Mobile all vying for lucrative iPhone customer dollars.
Just moments ago, it emerged Telstra has already sold out all stock – just five hours after the Apple smartphone went on sale, said to be one of the fastest sell out’s ever for an Apple device.
“64GB models were the first to sell out, followed by 32GB,” said a Telstra spokesperson.
“Online sales have surpassed all Telstra records reflecting the both the huge demand for iPhone 4S and a growing trend among Australians to buy online.”
But even Apple co-founder had to line up for the iPhone like everyone else. Steve Wozniack, Steve Jobs Apple co-founder, lined up at 1.20 US local time.
“The long wait begins. I’m first in line. The guy ahead was on the wrong side and he’s pissed,” he tweeted.
No showers, cramped conditions, sleepless nights. Welcome to the bizarre world of iPhone 4S campers.
The iPhone 4S teenage campers in Sydney clearly had the money (and the time) to camp for days on end.
The teenage duo I spoke to, Tom and Wil, were at the very top of the queue at 6pm yesterday and couldn’t have been more than 16 years old.
“Why?”, I asked. “Because we want to,” they replied. One of the teens, Tom, was buying the handset for himself and a mate, while Wil just couldn’t face not being the first to get their mitts on the cult-like handset, it appears.
However, the line up at Apple Store was far less than I anticipated and didn’t even clog the street or go around the corner, yesterday evening at least.
How were the Apple devotees coping food wise, I wondered or was this an Apple-only fast? Pedestrians were offering queuers food and many stopped to chat, curious as to why they were lining up.
|iYum: Telstra iPhone 4S cake.|
Telstra, who along with the Apple Store and most other telcos opened their doors at earlier time of 8am to deal with the anticipated iPhone scrum reported at 8:35am this morning: “Heaps of people lined up early to be among the first to purchase a new iPhone 4S.”
Telstra, who even baked an icake to celebrate the event, were also offering home delivery of the 4S as were Vodafone.
However, another Telstra customer was less pleased: “Still waiting for @Telstra to confirm my #Telstra4S order has shipped. Can’t get through on phone. Have submitted form.”
Another more content fan tweeted: “I have two iPhone 4S handsets on my person right now. I am a mugging waiting to happen.”
Down the road from Apple Store on Sydney’s George St at the Samsung ‘pop-up shop’ there was a similar size queue formed to get their hands on $2 Galaxy SII smartphone to the first ten strore entrants every day this week.
Click to enlarge