Apple’s iPhone has been with us for ten years now, and Apple fans have gradually come to realize an important truth. No, not anything about iPhones themselves: They’ve come to realize that they don’t need to actually wait in line overnight on release day to get a device.
One former investment analyst who followed the well-being of Apple told CNBC (warning: auto-play video at that link) that the number of people waiting at the flagship Apple store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan has decreased over the last four releases. While almost 1,900 people were waiting outside the store on release day in 2014, there were 650 in 2015, 400 in 2014, and around 250 people at the door this year.
Around the world, people Tweeting while waiting in line noted that the crowds were tiny compared to years past. One store in Arizona had three people, and the second person in line at another Manhattan store wasn’t even there for an iPhone.
There are two factors here: As more carriers and retailers have iPhones, they’ve become ubiquitous and having the latest one is no longer a status symbol. Apple allows customers to reserve and pay for the phones online, so they can go to the store after work rather than queuing up overnight.
The other factor is that Apple released two phones this year, and Apple’s remaining hardcore, line-waiting fans are most likely going to be outside stores on Nov. 3 waiting to get their hands and their facial recognition patterns on an iPhone X.
Around the world, people just weren’t as excited about the iPhone 8.
The iPhone 8 is apparently a hit in Seattle, though.