Thousands are lining up for the iPhone X around the world

Key Points
  • Thousands have lined up around the world to be among the first to get their hands on the much anticipated iPhone X.
  • The smartphone is loaded with plenty of high-end hardware and new features.
  • Apple CEO Tim Cook told CNBC from an orders perspective, the iPhone X was off to a strong start.
Lines round the block in London for Apple's iPhone X launch

Thousands of Apple users around the world lined up to get their hands on the new iPhone X that became available in major markets on Friday.

The iPhone X, Apple's 10th anniversary offering, is loaded with plenty of high-end hardware and new features, including Face ID that unlocks the phone when users look at it. It is also pricey, starting at $999 for the entry-level model.

According to Apple, the handset was available Friday in more than 50 markets, including China, the U.S., the U.K., Singapore, Australia, India and Japan.

CEO Tim Cook told CNBC on Thursday that the iPhone X, from an order perspective, is "off to a very strong start."

That followed a muted launch for the iPhone 8 in September.

United States

In the United States, some reportedly fought outside the San Francisco Apple Store to figure out who was first in line. Others used the hype around the iPhone X to make some fast cash by offering to stand in line for enthusiasts.

The line outside the Apple Store on Fifth Avenue in New York stretched almost an entire block.

United Kingdom

A long line spanned around the block outside Apple's flagship London store as people waited to get their hands on the iPhone X.

Outside Apple's London store on Regent Street, one fan named Adam said he had been waiting since Tuesday night.

Despite its price tag, Adam said, he wanted to buy the phone for its new design, large screen and the FaceID unlocking system.

"It's way too expensive, but you have to do what you have to do to get it," Adam told CNBC.

Interestingly, Adam said he usually gets a new iPhone every two years when he renews his mobile contract with a carrier. He never buys the "S" versions of the iPhone. But after buying an iPhone 7 when it was released last year, Adam is buying a new iPhone after just one year.

"There's a huge difference in design," Adam told CNBC.

Apple hopes this is what other consumers think, too.

And the pent-up demand could be huge. Analysts at GHB Insights estimate that over 350 million iPhone users have phones that are 2 years old or older. These people could be looking to upgrade to the new iPhone X or iPhone 8 models.


In Australia, people started queuing early outside the Apple Store in Sydney Central. As more people showed up, the line grew and went around the corner and stretched down several blocks as users waited for the store to open, following the release of the iPhone-maker's fourth-quarter numbers.

Reuters reported that around 400 people had lined up outside the flagship store in Sydney and some were looking to flip their brand new smartphones for as much as 3,000 Australian dollars ($2,313.92) each.

The practice of buying new iPhones early, before they are sold out, and then reselling them at a higher price is fairly common, particularly in the Greater China region. Last year, scalpers in Hong Kong were reselling some iPhone 7 Plus handsets for as much as $1,933 versus Apple's suggested retail price of $769.


In Singapore, a huge crowd gathered by Thursday evening in front of the Apple Store on Orchard Road. According to one report, users apparently stood in line as early as Wednesday.

People line up in front of the Apple Store in Singapore on Thursday, Nov. 2, ahead of the iPhone X launch.
Anna Kleinsasser

Some even traveled to Singapore from nearby countries like Thailand to buy the newest iPhone. Apple has not indicated when the iPhone X will be available in Thailand.

Hong Kong

Hundreds queued up in Hong Kong to get their hands on the iPhone X. Blogger Andrew Leyden tweeted a video that showed people lining up outside an Apple Store, noting that the black market was "in full force."

The South China Morning Post reported, however, that resellers were having a hard time getting the prices they want for the newest Apple smartphone in Hong Kong.

According to the news outlet, a trader said he would be happy if he is able to earn about 2,000 Hong Kong dollars ($256) from reselling a 256 GB model.


The line in front of the Apple Store in Tokyo was also sizable. According to reports, more than 500 people already queued before Friday's release.

Also see:
Apple shares hit record high as Wall Street gushes over iPhone X launch
How to get an iPhone X on launch day

—CNBC's Josh Lipton, Arjun Kharpal and Jim Cramer contributed to this report.

WATCH: Watch CNBC's first hands-on look at Apple's new iPhone X

Watch CNBC's first hands-on look at Apple's new iPhone X