SEOUL, Nov. 2 (Korea Bizwire) – Only one person has turned up to wait overnight for mobile carrier KT’s special launch event of the iPhone 8 in South Korea, in contrast with its predecessors.
A 27-year-old man Lee Gyu-min is the only person that has been waiting in line for KT’s iPhone 8 launch event on Friday, according to the company.
The lower turnout compared to the phone’s predecessors reflects the latest iPhone’s lack of interest and underwhelming preorder performance.
As of 1 p.m., Lee was the only person to line up for KT’s iPhone 8 release event, drawing comparisons with the release of iPhone 7, when around six people waited in line for a similar event a year ago.
“It’s the last iPhone model with a home button and the traditional design. It will be hard to get used to the iPhone X, as it has changed so much in appearance,” said Lee, who is currently using an iPhone 5S.
A number of factors come into play in the reduced level of popularity of the iPhone 8.
KT’s gifts for the first user to register their new iPhone are much more moderate this year, with the company giving away 1.5 million won worth of electronic devices including Apple Watches.
SKT and LG Uplus are doing away with launch day lines, and are instead opting for prize draws for those who preordered the new iPhone.
Industry sources estimate iPhone 8 preorders in South Korea are trailing behind those of the iPhone 7 by 30 to 40 percent, as consumers don’t see much of a difference in both features and design, many of whom are also waiting for the release of the high-end iPhone X.
However, with the iPhone X expected to sell for 1.63 million won in the South Korean market, some argue the higher-than-expected price could see sales of the iPhone 8 grow later this year.
A survey by online pollster Dooit Survey from last month showed over half of the 2,546 respondents were not sure whether to purchase the new iPhone because of its price.
In the meantime, just over 1 in 5 people said they don’t see significant technological differences with the new iPhone’s predecessor, while over 10 percent were put off by the issue of swelling batteries.