For the first time ever, Apple Inc. released not just one, but two iPhones on Friday, giving fans double the choice and Wall Street double the heartburn.
Apple’s dual phone launch closed out a tumultuous couple of weeks for the tech giant, which took a hit on the stock market after announcing its newest smartphones, rebuffed backlash over the not-so-low-cost of its low-cost iPhone option and discovered a security glitch in its new operating system. The pressure was on for Apple to post big sales of new iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S, and assure consumers and investors that the Cupertino, Calif., company still had something revolutionary up its sleeve.
When the doors swung open at the Apple store on Palo Alto’s main drag, just blocks from former CEO Steve Jobs’ old house, the hundreds of customers lined up were rewarded not just with a new iPhone purchase, but with a sighting of CEO Tim Cook, who stopped by the store.
The two phones sre the iPhone 5S, the company’s new flagship device loaded with Apple’s latest and greatest, and the lower-cost, heavier but colorful iPhone 5C. Apple did not say how many units of the iPhone 5S it had in stock, but it was clear that demand would exceed supply. Only a handful of the gold-colored 5S were available, said customers in line in Palo Alto, and an Apple spokesman said supply was getting short.
“Demand for the new iPhones has been incredible, and we are currently sold out or have limited supply of certain iPhone 5S models in some stores,” said Bill Evans. said Friday.
At the Palo Alto store, Apple fans had been camped out since Monday, most eager to get their hands on the iPhone 5s.
Few had any interest in the iPhone 5C, Apple’s answer to a cheaper phone, which comes in an assortment of candy-colored plastic casing. Some have panned it as being a repackaged version of the iPhone 5, sold for $99.
“It’s the same as the 5,” said Tri Nguyen, a college student from San Jose. “You can just buy a colorful case and plug the 5 in it.”
He arrived Thursday at 10 p.m. and camped overnight with friends, each ready with their credit cards to buy the 5S.