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Covent Garden Apple Store lacking fanfare day before iPhone 7 release

Alex Yau
September 15, 2016

Apple’s latest flagship is due to go on sale tomorrow (September 16), but the Covent Garden store lacked the usual crowds that have accompanied previous release days

The Covent Garden Apple Store has been without the hundreds of diehard Apple fans usually camping out overnight in anticipation of the manufacturer’s latest iPhone release.

Just two people were outside the Apple Store in Covent Garden when Mobile News visited this morning (September 15). Large queues were usually a common sight days before previous major iPhone launches. More than a thousand people queued up for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in Covent Garden when they were released in September 2014. Numbers have been dwindling, however. Only 17 people had gathered outside the Apple Store in Oxford Street last year (September 24) a day before the 6s and 6s Plus went on general sale.

These falling numbers have accompanied dropping iPhone sales. Q2 this year saw overall shipments drop for the second consecutive quarter, down 15 per cent year on year to 40.399 million. According to figures from analyst IDC for Q2, Apple’s global smartphone market share had slipped from 13.9 per cent to 11.8 per cent over the past 12 months.

The two who spoke to Mobile News this year were self-proclaimed Apple fanatics. Geza Katai, 24, (pictured below) had flown to London from Serbia two days ago just to purchase the new 7. He has been queuing up since 7am this morning.


He told Mobile News he did the same in Munich for the launch of the 6s and uses three separate iPhones for different functions; a 5s to control his drone, a 6s for Apple Music and a 5 for his own personal use. Katai said: “I’m excited about the new phone because of the camera. It has an optical zoom and the quality will be much better than on previous versions. I’ll be using it solely to take photos and videos.”

Chaabi Karahi, 29, from London, had been at the store since 5PM yesterday. Mobile News had previously spoken to him a day before last year’s iPhone 6s launch when he camped overnight outside the Oxford Street store, which is currently being refurbished. He shared similar views to Katai. He said: “This is a unique phone and I’ll be getting the black iPhone 7 Plus. I’m really excited about it because it’s waterproof and dustproof. This model is unlike any other. ”


This year’s launch has been accompanied by a 30 degree heatwave, a contrast to the rain and cold weather of last year’s 6s release. Both said this had made queuing up much more bearable and pleasant. They had been passing the time by watching videos on their iPhones and street entertainers in the area. They have also been getting food and going to the toilet from nearby pubs and restaurants.


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