Like with every new release of their products, Japanese gadget-obssessed consumers lined up outside the Apple store in Tokyo’s Ginza district to be one of the first to own the new iPhones as they went on sale on Friday. But surprisingly, most of them went for the iPhone 5S rather than the cheaper and more colorful 5C.
More than 500 people waited in a line, or rather several lines, that stretched blocks outside the store. Some of them have been in line for days just because they wanted to be ahead of everyone else to own the newest handsets. The most popular model seems to be the gold iPhone 5S, particularly because this color has never been offered with the previous models. But even though the less expensive 5C, which basically has the same features as the previous iPhone 5, has more color options, gold was still the preferred color for the more high-end, flagship model. Visual jockey VJ_TAKUMA, who was wearing a Steve Jobs mask with the trademark black mock turtleneck outfit, said the reason he fell in line so early was to get the gold iPhone, as he feared most people would also get that one. Two co-workers who fell in line last night wanted the 64-gig version, but when they got to the store already, they were sold out. “I was actually surprised to see it was so popular because I thought the Japanese are not big gold lovers,” one of them said.
But of course the honor of being the first ones to own the new iPhones were the father and son duo of Tetsuya Tamura, 44 and 19-year-old son, Shion who have stood in line for 10 days and endured a heat wave and even a typhoon. Fortunately, the people at the store gave them shelter during that torrential downpour. The father said “it was worth it” and of course they both went for the 5S. One notable difference in this release in Japan is that for the first time, NTT Docomo, the country’s largest carrier, is offering the iPhone to their subscribers, which has triggered a price competition with their competitors, Softbank and KDDI. “The real battle starts now,” said NTT president Kaoru Kato.
[ via Wall Street Journal ]