Apple Fans Fly To Singapore From Vietnam & India To Queue Overnight For iPhone 15
The Apple iPhone 15 series officially goes on sale tomorrow (22 Sep), but ardent fans of the tech giant have already been queueing to buy it as early as this morning (21 Sep).
When MS News visited Courts at The Heeren at around 5.30pm, we noticed people sitting on the ground outside the store, surrounded by barriers to keep the line straight and orderly.
Some of them had suitcases with them as if they’d come straight from Changi Airport, having travelled to the Lion City for the sole purpose of securing the newest kid on the high-end smartphone block.
Sure enough, most of the folks did come from foreign countries who could not wait to get their hands on the swanky gadget before it gets released in their hometowns.
Queue for iPhone 15 formed outside Courts by itself
A Courts staff member told MS News there were no plans to set up a queue for the iPhone 15 before it officially goes on sale.
However, avid devotees just showed up and formed their own queue in front of the store.
Instead of chasing them away, staff set up rope barriers for better crowd management.
They also put up signs indicating two different types of queues.
One was for pre-order collections and those purchasing Apple Care, which would open at 8am. The other was for all other purchases and would open slightly later at 8.30am.
At about 8.20pm, we saw Courts staff distributing bottled water to customers in the queue.
Several folks were also spotted munching on bento boxes and snacks or even lying down for a nap as they prepared for a long night ahead.
Want to get new iPhone ahead of launch in home country
It didn’t take long before we realised most people in the queue were not Singaporeans.
A good majority of them were from Vietnam, such as 34-year-old Tung, who flew in yesterday (20 Sep) for the sole purpose of purchasing an iPhone 15 Pro Max.
“In Vietnam, it only comes out on the 29th,” he explained, adding that he couldn’t wait to get one as “iPhone is so hot”.
First in line in the pre-order queue was a young Vietnamese couple who had been there since 3pm.
As an Apple fan of 10 years, the husband wanted to have the iPhone 15 Pro Max as soon as possible instead of waiting a week for it to be released back home.
32-year-old Bi, who also came with several friends from Vietnam on an iPhone-purchasing quest, echoed this sentiment. He had been there since 11am.
“I don’t think I’ll get to sleep tonight,” he chuckled, naming the camera, iOS, and titanium material as the main reasons he’s drawn to the iPhone 15 Pro Max.
Besides Vietnamese customers, we also met 28-year-old Visits Vimanshana from Sri Lanka.
He had come to buy the iPhone as his preferred model, the 15 Pro Max, will not yet be available in his home country.
Customers also seen waiting outside Apple Store
Courts wasn’t the only place where we saw eager Apple fans.
We also noticed people gathering in clusters or sitting alone outside the Apple Store itself just a couple of blocks away, where — unlike Courts — there won’t be an official queue for another few hours.
An employee we spoke to shared that the queue at the Apple Store will start at 5am, but a few special ‘first dibs’ wristbands have already been given out.
We learned this will grant them access to join the 5am queue to buy the phones at 8am. All other purchases will start at 10am.
25-year-old Jessie, a Vietnamese living in Singapore, had been sitting outside the Apple Store with a group of friends since 3pm. Some of her companions, she shared, had been there since morning.
When asked why she did not pre-order the iPhone since she’s based here, she shared that the earliest she could get her preferred model would be in November.
And she could not wait to upgrade her current device, which she does every year.
Furthermore, she hopes to secure two iPhones — one for herself, and the other for a family member back in Vietnam.
According to 18-year-old Jatin, who was sitting alone outside one of the Apple Store’s gleaming glass doors, it was cheaper to buy a return ticket to Singapore and purchase an iPhone 15 Pro Max here than to get it in India, where he’s from.
The price difference, he shared, is around 20,000 to 30,000 Indian Rupees (S$330 to S$490).
Singaporeans share why they’re queueing for new iPhone
Although a rarity, we did manage to track down a couple of Singaporeans in the queue for the new iPhone.
We caught up with Naz Farihin, 26, just five minutes after he had joined the Courts queue.
He shared that he was going to stay there overnight with a friend, who would only join him in the wee hours of the morning after work.
“I’m using an iPhone 11 now, so it’s about time for an upgrade,” he shared. “I’m feeling nervous, I’ve definitely got competition. Everybody wants a piece of the new gadget.”
He explained that he had tried to place a pre-order for the new iPhone, but the website crashed due to overwhelming traffic.
When he finally got into the site, the model he wanted would only be shipped to him in November at the earliest, even December.
“I’ve been waiting a few years to upgrade, so now that I have the time, I decided to come and try and queue,” he said.
As for 29-year-old Lina, who had been sitting outside the Apple Store since 7pm, she hopes to get the new iPhone in time for her upcoming trip in October.
“When I tried to place an order yesterday, it said that the earliest I would be able to get it is in November,” she explained. “But if I queue today, there is a chance I can get it.”
Will you be getting the new iPhone? Let us know in the comments.
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Featured image by MS News. Photography by Chankit Pongdhana.
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