“We’ve got something special in store for you”. It’s the biggest day of the Apple year. The on-line store is down and millions are watching the seconds count down to 12.01 am, San Francisco time. Today the iPhone X was launched — here in London at a very convenient start-of-the-day 8.01 am — and the financial traders have their eyes fixed firmly on the screen.
Following the expected lacklustre launch of the “second-best” iPhone 8 a few weeks ago, it is fair to say that today is make-or-possibly-break time for Apple.
At mission control in Cupertino, queen bee of Apple retail, Angela Ahrendts, is watching dozens of screens as the servers prepare for the opening of the store in a large number of countries. For this launch, the list is long, unlike the usually short list of first-markets topped by the USA and the UK. Everything is riding on the reception to the iPhone X. Apple knew very well that with the X on the horizon, the iPhone 8 and iPhone would be seen by the its core market, the people who will queue all night outside an Apple store and high-five the staff as they grab the first box of the day, will settle for nothing less than the X.
Most expensive iPhone
This is the most expensive iPhone ever. The 256GB model I have my eyes on costs an eye-watering £1,149 with Apple Care adding a further £199. Even though it is only a couple of hundred pounds more than the iPhone 7 Plus I bought in 2016, the passing of the psychological £1,000 barrier is a cause for worry. Will the cognoscenti crowds be as keen as they once were? By the end of this weekend we will know.
I know full well that supplies of the iPhone X will be limited and, if I do want to upgrade, I need to be quick off the ball. At 8 am by finger is poised over the store button. If previous years are anything to go by, the store will not open dead on 8.01 and millions will be left with their forefinger poised, refreshing the screen in order to be near the front of the line. Even then, when access is granted, it is a long-drawn out process of refresh, refresh until, suddenly, the door opens and in you go. It’s a good idea to know exactly what you want. I set up my choice as a favourite on my iPhone last night, so I can go straight to the checkout counter.
After furiously prodding the refresh button for around ten minutes the on-line store eventually opened on my screen after 8.10 and I rushed to order. I bagged an iPhone X 256GB in space grey (good to see Apple UK now spells grey correctly) and proceeded to collection details. I’d bagged a November 3 delivery but first I had to find an available collection slot at one of the London Apple stores. I worked my way through all the stores and, as I worked, the lights went out across London’s Apple world. I had completely missed out on store collection for November 3 simply because thousands more buyers had been a fraction of a second quicker with their finger — or just plain lucky.
Second choice was home delivery, but that is scheduled for November 28-December 4. Hobson’s choice, really, so I proceeded to checkout. Whoa! Not so easy. Checkout was blocked, no doubt dealing with millions of credit card payments all at once. This is undoubtedly one the the busiest days of the year for the payments systems. I took a screenshot of the order page just in case, but by 8.40 I was still waiting the check out. This is the company with probably one of the most sophisticated payments systems in the world….
At 8.50 this is still work in progress. I do not know if my order will succeed, but I will provide an update later…….. Yes, at 9 am, an hour after the first press of the digit, the order went through.
Regular readers will no doubt fear for my sanity. Why go to all this trouble over a new iPhone. Well, part of the clue lies in the title of this blog. Initially it started as a technical blog, centred on Apple and, in particular, Mac. The second clue is that I am an unashamed techie and like to have the latest toys. And, I have to say, my iPhone is the centre of my workflow. I consult it more times daily than any other device; it is always with me and it is an integral part of my life and work. So, perhaps, a bit of time prodding the “continue” button is worthwhile.