Fans flock but shares dip on iPhone dual launch
Analysts say crowds explained by inability to order 5S, 5C online
Apple stores around the world saw sizeable queues on Friday, as fans sought to be among the first to get their hands on the iPhone 5S and its budget counterpart, the iPhone 5C.
However, news outlets reported a slight dip in share price for the Cupertino-based firm as cautious investors waited for initial sales reports, due this week.
Analysts and industry commentators expressed concern for the lack of groundbreaking features in the iPhone 5S, a criticism that is a common accompaniment to Apple product launches since the troubled launch of the iPhone 5 and one that has seen company stock take a tumble from a September-2012 high of $705.07 to Friday's closing price of $467.41.
Also heavily criticised was the launch price of the iPhone 5C, which was widely hoped to be a budget offering that would allow Apple to capture revenue share in emerging markets. Instead, the 5C will have an unsubsidised price of $730 in China, the world's largest market and a key battleground for Apple in its war with smartphone rivals.
While Friday's crowds were substantial, Reuters quoted analysts as citing the inability to order the models online ahead of the launch.
"While it is likely some of this line is due to not having an early pre-order option for the 5S, we still believe it shows loyalty to the iPhone remains strong among Apple's installed base," said ISI Group analyst Brian Marshall.
Apple sold 5m iPhone 5 handsets in its opening weekend and demand for the 5S is said to be stronger. Marshall estimates the sale of 6m 5S units in the first three days.