NBC News Every time a new iPhone is announced, Apple CEO Tim Cook has a habit of calling it the company's best and most beautiful yet. But for Apple enthusiasts, the iPhone X may be the pinnacle.
Apple's high-end iPhone X, which comes with a few differentiating features from its recently released sibling, the iPhone 8, arrived in stores on Friday. But with a limited supply in stores on the first day, chances are you're already out of luck in getting your hands on one — at least for now.
"The iPhone X is doubly important to Apple, because it’s positioned as the future of the smartphone. And Apple knows it must own that future, versus ceding it to somebody like Samsung," Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, told NBC News.
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In San Francisco, the first people waiting for the iPhone X showed up outside the Union Square Apple store on Wednesday. By Thursday afternoon, more than a dozen people were in line, planning to spend the night and be one of the first in the door on Friday.
It was the same story around the world. In Sydney, Australia, a line stretched around the block, prompting one Twitter user to call it the longest iPhone release line he'd seen since the iPhone 6, when Apple first expanded the iPhone's screen size.
Despite the premium price and reported production issues, Apple has had record pre-sales of the iPhone X. Three times as many orders were placed for the iPhone X compared to the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, according to Slice Intelligence.
“Demand looks very strong for the iPhone X. Apple’s challenge is going to be fulfilling that demand, but guidance points to Apple’s confidence, despite the reluctance to commit to a timeline," Geoff Blaber, analyst at CCS Insight, told NBC News in an email.
As of Thursday, Apple's website was quoting five to six weeks for people just now placing an order for most models of the iPhone X.
The $1,000 phone is Apple's most expensive yet, ditches the home button in favor of fluid gesture controls, and comes with the ability to unlock your phone using your face. And the reviews have generally been favorable — leading to some questions about how Apple could ever top itself.
Ahead of the big release, Apple had another powerhouse quarter. In a call with investors, Apple executives announced the company had sold 46.7 million iPhones in the past three months, smashing estimates and causing the company's stock to surge, putting the $900 billion giant that much closer to being the world's first trillion-dollar company.