iPhone XS Launch: Why Fans Lined Up to Get Apple’s New Device

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Apple’s latest iPhones launched to great fanfare on Friday. The $999 iPhone XS and $1,099 XS Max may seem like rather high prices, but that didn’t stop people lining up for stores to open at 8 a.m. local time, where they could either collect reservations or purchase from a limited amount of stock.

The company announced the new products last week with a slew of headline upgrades. The A12 Bionic chip is at the heart of the new devices, the first-ever seven-nanometer smartphone chip that sets a new standard in mobile computing with advanced artificial intelligence support. This also translates into faster face recognition unlock, as well as new features like Smart HDR and bokeh changes after a picture is taken. New options for this year include a gold color finish, 512GB of storage, and a 6.5-inch screen option.

CEO Tim Cook thanked customers for arriving early in the day, sharing four images of buyers around the world:

Long lines formed as fans awaited their turn in Pasadena, California:

Similar scenes were spotted in Dubai:

The same lines formed in Singapore:

London fans justified their purchase because of the phone’s key role in modern society. Buyer Gowrishankar Palanivel told CNBC that “you’re using your phone everyday, you see it every time.” A 19-year-old student told the Evening Standard that “it’s completely sad but I needed an upgrade.” Another fan, who stood for an hour in the line, mentioned the gold color as a factor in comments to Metro, adding: “what’s not to love?”

In Hong Kong, buyers were pleased to see Apple has included support for two physical SIM cards in this year’s model. Li Jun told Bloomberg that “iPhone XS is expensive for me, but I just can’t resist the new dual SIMs feature. The feature allows me to have a local SIM card installed when I work abroad, without taking out my Chinese SIM card.”

Not everyone was waiting for the iPhone XS. Some buyers snapped up the Apple Watch Series 4, the upgrade to Apple’s smartwatch line that launched the same day. The upgrade results in a bigger screen, thinner body, smarter processor, and new electrocardiogram detection that can inform health professionals about the state of the user’s heart:

Not everyone was lucky:

At least there’s always next year, when Apple is expected to offer even more impressive augmented reality features.

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