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Apple iPhone 6 and 6 Plus launch in Singapore today

By Sidney Wong - on 19 Sep 2014, 2:13pm

Apple iPhone 6 and 6 Plus launch in Singapore today

Queuing for new Apple iPhone models is a yearly tradition for many consumers and this year is no different although we felt that the turn up was bigger than anything we've seen in three years.

As expected, queues were seen forming up as early as yesterday morning. We've seen reports and photos of people queuing up outside shops of Apple retailers EpiCentre, iStudio and Nubox across the island.

The queue outside 313 for EpiCentre at 9.45PM last night.

The queue outside Nubox, Causeway Point at about 11PM last night.

Moreover, there were reports of disputes and fighting at some locations (e.g. Suntec City and Tampines Mall) among consumers last night and earlier this morning. Apparently, there was miscommunication between the mall management and retailers which resulted in multiple queues at the same location.

A reader of HardwareZone sent this photo to us and described a dispute among consumers at Suntec City.

Over at the telcos' side, the appointment booking system approach adopted by SingTel and StarHub paid off. Both telcos reported smooth handling of the human traffic and quick processing of orders. 

SingTel - “We have learned a lot from selling the various models of iPhones over the years, and have carefully fine-tuned our processes to improve customer experience. Demand always exceeds supply at launch weekend and it is very challenging to cater to all customers at launch. From experience, we have found that an online appointment booking system is the best way to manage the queues and provide customers with a truly fuss-free experience. This process gives customers peace of mind as it guarantees those who have secured an appointment slot the iPhone model and colour of their choice.

StarHub - "During the booking phase, customers were offered specific collection venues and timeslots for greater convenience and ease of collection, ultimately improving their retail experience."

According to SingTel, more than 50,000 customers registered their interest for the new iPhones. When the appointment booking system went live at 3PM on Wednesday, more than 15,000 slots were snapped up in less than 15 minutes. Demand for the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus was especially high with all available units snapped up within three minutes. 

SingTel understands that there are customers who were unable to secure an appointment and has allocated remaining iPhone 6 stocks to its shops tomorrow specifically for these customers on a first-come-first-served basis.

Justin Chow, 28 was the first customer at SingTel to get his hands on the Apple iPhone 6.

Over at the green camp, StarHub told us that pre-order customers have started collecting their iPhone 6 models at 35 outlets across the island. Many of them started queuing several hours in advance. Over 30 eager customers were in line at Plaza Singapura before the retail shop opened at 10.35AM.

Mr. Foo Chuan Wei is the first customer in line at the StarHub outlet in Plaza Singapura. He got for himself an iPhone 6 Plus 64GB (silver).

StarHub states that customers can walk in to any Shop or selected authorized dealers to buy the iPhone 6 from tomorrow, while stocks last. StarHub currently does not have stocks for the iPhone 6 Plus. The telco is working with Apple to replenish stocks as quickly as possible to meet the demand.

The first person (Daniel) in the queue received a hamper from Joseph Lok (extreme right), GM of M1 shop. He picked the iPhone 6 Plus (Silver) 64GB while his wife selected the iPhone 6 (Space Grey) 64GB.

Things also went smoothly over at the M1 Store in Paragon. As pre-order customers already made payments online, the transaction process was shorter and all they needed to do was to check whether the phones were in working condition.

Therefore, the shop wasn't as crowded as we thought when we visited at 8AM. Like the other two telcos, M1 does not have stocks for the iPhone 6 Plus. Customers can walk in from tomorrow to any M1 shops if they want to purchase the iPhone 6, while stocks last.

Mr. Ho Yong Qing, 20, is the first customer at Nubox, Raffles City, He bought an iPhone 6 Plus  64GB (gold).

We dropped by Nubox at Raffles City around 9AM and saw a queue of over 100 people. The first customer in line, Mr. Ho Yong Qing, started queuing at 6AM. By 9.20AM, all available queue tickets were issued to people in line. At press time, Nubox ran out of stocks for both iPhone 6 models.

Judging from the reception this year, it seems that Apple has two winners on its hands. The iPhone 6 Plus seems to be the more popular model in Singapore as evident in a local poll conducted by our fellow forum members. Unfortunately, Apple seems to have difficulties meeting the demand as its main manufacturer Foxconn is struggling to produce sufficient units.