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Sunday 19 January 2020

Long queues, protests as Apple’s iPhone X hits stores

San Francisco: Apple’s iPhone X hit stores around the world today, drawing crowds in many locations and protests in others as the new flagship device hit stores in some 50 markets worldwide.

Apple enthusiasts around the globe were lining up to get their hands on the new device which features facial recognition, cordless charging and an edge-to-edge screen with technology used in high-end televisions — and an eye-popping price tag.

 The new gadget marks the 10th anniversary of the first iPhone release and was released in about 50 markets today, starting in Asia and then followed by Europe and the Americas.

The launch came a day after Apple announced a 19-per cent jump in net profit to $10.7 billion in the fiscal fourth quarter to September 30. Revenues were up 12 per cent at $52.6 billion.

Even though California is home to Apple, it was among the last locations for the iPhone X to become available given a global roll-out that started with the dawn of Friday in New Zealand.

In Paris, where a queue had also formed in front of the Apple Store near the French capital’s Garnier Opera house.21 -year-old engineering student Jeremy said he had worked throughout the summer to save for a new phone.But protesters in France used the launch to highlight Apple’s tax dispute with Europan authorities.

French activists dumped a load of freshly picked apples — the fruit — as demonstrators carried signs saying “Apple, pay your taxes” in the southern city of Aix-en-Provenc

In Frankfurt, Germany’s financial capital, Apple fans had been lining up since the early hours.The wait for delivery stretched to an unprecedented six weeks shortly after Apple began taking pre-orders.

The new device was not creating such a buzz in the Greek capital of Athens, however, where no queues formed in front of the licensed Apple dealer in the city’s chic Kolonaki quarter.

Earlier in Asia, buyers who had pre-ordered the phone online queued to pick up their purchases, saying they were willing to pay for what they saw as a landmark model.

Around 300 customers waited overnight outside Singapore’s Apple store, the first shop in Southeast Asia to sell the new model.

Apple is setting an ambitious goal for itself to reinvent the smartphone as it strives to fend off fierce competition from rivals, especially in China.

The iPhone is its main profit driver, accounting for more than half its revenues.

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