Apple's iPhone 8 sees muted launch in Asia

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The iPhone 8 will only cater to those who want a new version but do not want to pay a hefty $999 for the iPhone X, said iTWire.com's technology editor Alex Zaharov-Reutt, who did not line up for the launch.

The S&P and the Dow were on track to snap a string of record sessions and Apple (AAPL.O) was the biggest drag on the three major indexes with a 1.3-percent drop on concerns about demand for its latest smartphone.

New iPhones often sell out early, but iPhone 8 preorders on Thursday in the US offered delivery in one-to-three days, indicating either less demand for the iPhone 8 or more supply, said Mr. Cybart. The fund owned 875,007 shares of the iPhone maker's stock after selling 31,266 shares during the period.

In London, some Apple fans lining up for the iPhone 8 said they were in desperate need of an upgrade that could not wait another month.

Each year, Apple fans queue, sometimes overnight, often right down the street and around corners, to be first through the Apple Store doors on a new iPhone's release day. Jeremy Kirkland, a 32-year old marketer from Brooklyn, N.Y., woke at 2:45 a.m. on September 15-when Apple started allowing preorders-to buy an iPhone 8 Plus. The top range iPhone X will become available next month, at 8,388 yuan (US$1,272). The unique "iPhone for Life" program introduced past year for the first time in UAE will make it easier to upgrade to the new iPhones.

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According to Neil Cybart, an analyst who covers Apple for Above Avalon, "I think demand is down from previous year, for no other reason than you have another flagship phone".

At the other end of the country in Beijing, customers at the Apple Store in the capital's popular upscale shopping area Sanlitun were also thin in the ground on launch day.

"It's normal. It's not all that different from the 7", said Duan Mengliang, a 25-year-old hotel worker.

Yang Jie in Beijing contributed to this article.

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