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Apple iPhone 8 launch fails to garner much enthusiasm worldwide

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The launch of a new iPhone is usually a big media event, with avid customers waiting weeks in line, fights breaking out at the stores, and people being robbed of their new purchases at gunpoint. This year? Not so much.

The new iPhone 8 launch is being met with a collective yawn, with only a few Apple Stores reporting any lines at all. According to Reuters, fewer than 80 people lined up for the new device at the San Francisco flagship store, where previous launches resulted in lines several blocks long. Many customers were actually in line to purchase the new Apple Watch Series 3 instead.

Some customers weren’t too impressed with the new phone. Mazen Kourouche, who waited 11 days in line in Sydney to get an iPhone 8 for his YouTube review channel, seemed ambivalent. “It shoots 4k 60 frames per second and it’s got a new glass back instead of the metal which is apparently more durable,” he said. “There aren’t too many new features to this one.” Here’s what you need to know if you snag one of Cupertino’s new phones.

We got our hands on an iPhone 8 and put together a full review of the iPhone 8 Plus and found it a solid, if incremental update.

In some stores, there were more Apple employees than customers. “When I showed up, I expected the gaggles of people to be lined up down the street,” Aaron Fox told USA Today.

NOW: Line for new iPhones at @Apple Boylston St. store about 20 deep; opens in 1/2 hour #NBCBoston

— Monica Madeja (@MonicaNBCBoston) September 22, 2017

In terms of stock value, it was the worst product launch week in iPhone history. Shares were down 6% from Apple’s September 12 event announcing the new fall lineup and down 7.4% for September, according to MarketWatch. The biggest dip previously was when the iPhone 5c and 5s were released in 2013.

No doubt most dedicated Apple junkies are waiting for the launch of the cutting-edge iPhone X in November. The X (pronounced “ten”) features a stylish all-glass design and a 5.8-inch OELD display with a clean, intuitive interface and wireless charging. Many analysts have speculated that the upcoming launch of the iPhone X is cutting into pre-orders for the iPhone 8.

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook, however, maintained that he was “thrilled” with the iPhone 8 launch at in Palo Alto, California, following his tradition of visiting an Apple Store on the day of a big product launch. Speaking to CNBC, he said, “We’ve sold out of iPhone 8 and 8 Plus in some stores, but we’ve got good supply there. You can see what’s going on here this morning — I couldn’t be happier.”

Although the iPhone 8 didn’t make much of a splash at its big debut, it’s likely to be a much different story on November 3 with the launch of the iPhone X, the “future of the smartphone,” according to Apple.

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Mark Austin
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