Two days before the iPhone’s launch, fans around Asia are queuing up to buy Apple’s latest offering. They don’t seem to care that it’s raining or freezing cold or if lining up early means missing work or school.
The July 11 launch will be the first chance, after all, for Asian consumers to own an iPhone.
“I’ve told my professor I was going to go buy an iPhone, and he gave me permission,” said Hiroyuki Sano, a 24-year-old graduate student who early on Tuesday arrived in rainy Tokyo from Nagoya to be first in line. Sano, speaking to Reuters, and incidentally wearing a T-shirt with an Apple logo, described his professor as an equally big Apple fan. “He sent me off cheerfully.”
The United States has already been through this, when the iPhone first went on sale a year ago. As the New York Times recalls, “TV news coverage was relentless. Hard-core fans camped out to be the first in line. Bloggers referred to Apple’s new product as the ‘Jesus phone’.”
The paper adds, “This time, though, when the iPhone 3G goes on sale in AT&T and Apple stores, iPhone Mania will be considerably more muted. That’s partly because the mystery is gone, partly because the AT&T service costs more and partly because there aren’t many new features in what Apple is calling the iPhone 3G. ”