Nearly no one lined up for the new iPhone in London

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Apple had to make the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus for two main reasons: For one, it's a way to put on the market handsets that don't risk to alienate its customer base (like those people who don't want to have a home button-less phone). It didn't feel like a new iPhone was launching.

But some general retailers said they were sure the new iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus - which start at 5,888 yuan (US$892) in the mainland - will quickly become available at lower prices than their official launch prices when they finally start to hit other shelves across the country.

Apple's estimates for the September quarter (which include the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus but exclude the iPhone X) are between $49 and $52 billion (£36-38 billion), and the company rarely misses them.

Apple unveiled the new iPhones in the U.S. this week, spruiking the A11 Bionic processor; six-core CPU built to handle artificial intelligence (AI) tasks; a 3D gaming and machine-learning capable GPU; a smarter Siri; series of augmented reality (AR) apps; support for LTE-Advanced; and wireless charging based on Qi, with chargers to be build throughout cars, retailers, and airports.

Robert Cihra, an analyst at Guggenheim Partners, told the WSJ that people not rushing out to buy an iPhone 8 might actually be a good thing.

This week we surveyed 388 consumers in the USA across all demographics and found that of those planning to buy an iPhone in the next year, 25% plan on purchasing an iPhone X and 39% and iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. Instead of queuing, Sinthopruangchai pre-ordered both the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus in black for his parents.

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M1 has yet to reveal its iPhone X pricing.

Apple's new smartphones were given the cold shoulder by consumers in China on Friday, as they went on sale for the first time at official stores.

This is a far cry from years past when there would be literally hundreds of people in line to purchase Apple's latest smartphone.

Of course, online pre-orders have changed the game, making the queue a demonstration of fandom rather than the quickest route to getting a device from box to hand. "Ten years later it's only fitting to reveal a product that will set the stage for the next decade", Cook said during the launch.

"Man, I just can't wait for this thing to be over", Barsoum said 20 minutes before the doors opened. Update, 6:38 p.m.: Adds material from Singapore.

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