At 11:30 p.m. Thursday, the should-be quiet corner on Knox Street and McKinney Avenue in North Dallas was bustling. Amidst a row of dark shops, the Apple store was ablaze with light as workers hung curtains to block the glass front and switched the side windows from ads of the iPhone 5s and 5c to what Apple was describing as “Bigger than bigger.” The store would be opening at 8 a.m. Friday morning, rather than its usual 10 a.m., to release the brand new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus and 123 eager customers were already lining themselves around the building in anticipation.
Lyel Lathem, who held the prized first spot in line, had been camping out since 10:30 a.m. Tuesday. However, morale was still high and neighbors in line chatted with one another, even willing to hold each other’s spots for short amounts of time.
“Friends who knew I was camping out for the new phone asked if I could purchase them phones too, but I said no. Out of respect for the people waiting in line behind me, I couldn’t buy multiple phones of a limited stock for people who weren’t there with me,” Lathem said.
Lucky for the eager customers behind him too, considering the astounding amount of pre-orders and limited supply of both phones in each physical store. On Sept. 15 Apple announced that there was a combined 4 million iPhone 6 and 6 Plus pre-orders within the first 24 hours of sales. These sales are double the 2 million iPhone 5 pre-orders in September 2012, and 3.4 million more than the 600,000 iPhone 4 pre-orders in June 2010, or a 567 percent increase.
This was the tenth campout for the release of a new Apple product for Justin Wagoner, the second man in line. His greatest expectation for the new phone was the bigger, almost tablet-like screen. When asked if he would be purchasing the iPhone 6 or 6 Plus, Wagoner gave an obvious roll of his eyes while stating, “Go big or go home.”
The iPhone 6 Plus is 6.22 inches by 3.06 and the iPhone 6 is 5.44 inches by 2.64 inches, compared to the iPhone 5s which is 4.87 inches by 2.31 inches. Wagoner’s motto seems to disagree with general consensus, though. A recent article on Forbes.com stated that the iPhone 6 now consists of 2.2 percent of all iPhones while the iPhone 6 Plus only consists of 0.34 percent.
Third man in line Kent Davis, who had never camped out for an electronic before, agreed that all the new perks of the iPhone 6 Plus were worth the two-day wait outside.
“If I wasn’t waiting in this line, I bet the earliest I could get my hands on that phone would be Thanksgiving. And I’m just not willing to wait,” Davis said.
Four miles away at the Apple store in NorthPark Center, customers had to wait until Friday morning to line up for the phones. SMU junior Molly O’Connor arrived at the mall’s parking lot around 5:30 a.m. and was already the 40th person in the pre-line outside. At 6 a.m., police officers led the single file line into the mall just outside of Apple. The doors opened at 8 a.m. and the first section of customers was allowed in. By 8:45 a.m. O’Connor had reserved her phone with an Apple employee who slowly worked his way down the line, and by 12:45 p.m. she had made it into the store to purchase and set up her new iPhone 6.
On Monday Apple released its latest press release stating it had sold over 10 million new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models, setting a new record. Over 9 million iPhone 5s and 5c models were sold their first weekend of release last year, and two years ago the iPhone 5 sold over 5 million models in its first weekend of release. The press release also stated that the new iPhones would be available in 115 countries by the end of this year.
Nonetheless, Apple’s iPhone sales growth is dwindling. In 2008, with the release of its second-generation iPhone 3G, sales growth was around 270 percent. Since the release of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, Apple’s iPhone sales growth is around 15 percent, according to Digitaltrends.com. From the first iPhone release in June 2007 until the end of 2011, sales nearly doubled each year. In 2012, iPhone sales only increased by a third from the year before. IPhone sales totaled 153.4 million in 2013, but this was only 13 percent higher than 2012. Apple’s sales growth is expected to increase in early 2015 with the release of the much-anticipated iWatch.