A week and a half after being unveiled on stage at the new Steve Jobs Theater, the iPhone 8/8 Plus and Apple Watch Series 3 have hit just hit store shelves. As ever, eager fans were queued up at stores across the globe to be among the first to get their hands on the new products, though a number of outlets are reporting that the crowd size is significantly sparser than past launches.
According to Reuters, the usual crowd of “hundreds” was “fewer than 30 people” in Sydney this time out. The new iPhone has been well received so far, including our own Matthew Panzarino, who had lots of nice things to say about the handset’s new camera.
Of course, Apple is probably cannibalizing 8 sales a bit with the promise of its ultra-premium iPhone X, which doesn’t actually hit shelves until November 3rd. Increased online orders may also be playing a role here, along with added competition on the high end of the market. Apple’s far from the only premium phone maker these days.
Reviews of the new Apple Watch were fairly mixed, as well. After wearing it around for a bit, I still consider it the best smartwatch on the market, but the device’s launch has no doubt been marred by recent reports of LTE issues. That’s a big bummer when it’s the key feature distinguishing the product from premium generations. Apple has already promised a fix, but that certainly isn’t the news cycle the company was hoping for ahead of launch.
As is the company's custom, we'll likely be hearing more on opening weekend sales figures come early next week.