iPhone 5 fever takes hold in Canada
Published Friday, September 21, 2012 6:46AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, September 21, 2012 11:36AM EDT
Apple fans across Canada lined up to get their hands on the new iPhone 5 Friday.
The phone went on sale across Canada at 8 a.m., but many diehard fans camped out in lines that started forming outside stores as early as Wednesday afternoon.
Crowds of waiting customers cheered as Apple stores opened in 26 cities across Canada.
The new phone is thinner, lighter and faster than previous versions. It boasts a larger screen and runs iOS 6, the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system released this week.
But the new phone was not without any glitches. There were widespread complaints Thursday that Apple’s new mapping program was not working properly, displaying incorrect road information and sometimes not showing landmarks or roads at all.
Still, it did not appear the map problems were affecting sales.
Apple said Monday that pre-orders of the new device had topped 2 million in just 24 hours.
As lines still snaked through malls across the country Friday morning, a spokesperson for popular classifieds website Kijiji said the iPhone 5 was already being resold for as much as $1,300 online.
“We usually get about 20,000 people per day looking for iPhones,” the representative told CTV News Channel. “Today we have about 40,000.”
He added that Kijiji postings to sell the iPhone 4 and 4S models had also multiplied as customers moved to finance the purchase of the latest model.
Used iPhone 4S models were selling for about $520 on Kijiji Friday and iPhone-related postings were being added every two to three minutes.
While it might seem like a case of brand hysteria to onlookers, York University marketing professor Detlev Zwick told CTV News Channel the craze surrounding new Apple products might have more to do with love than with logic.
“What the lineups show is there’s a specific relationship between apple as a brand and its consumers,” Zwick said. “Apple has had to work hard to gain that trust over the years and over the past decades it’s had a great run with breakthrough innovations… that has led to this unquestioned trust in new models that they launch.”
Having only one product in an often crowded cellular market also represents an advantage for Apple, another analyst told CTV News Channel.
“They have this large following of developers who are constantly developing new apps,” said Krista Napier, a senior analyst for mobility at IDC Canada. “That’s really important when consumers go to buy a device.”
Napier said the single product helps ensure there are always lots of applications that work with the device.
The markets also seemed excited about the launch of the new iPhone. BNN’s Michael Kane said the launch was expected to lift the NASDAQ Friday as Apple stock rose in pre-market trading. He also said there were estimates the company could move as many as 10 million units by the weekend. By 11:30 a.m. Friday, Apple stock was trading around $704.40 per share, up nearly one per cent from its closing price Thursday.
The apparent success of the new iPhone comes just two weeks shy of the anniversary of founder Steve Jobs’ death.