New pink iPhones prove popular as record weekend sales expected

Fri Sep 25, 2015 3:32pm EDT
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By Julia Love, Siddharth Cavale and Pauline Askin

SAN FRANCISCO/SYDNEY (Reuters) - The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus hit stores around the world on Friday, kicking off what is expected to be a record weekend of sales as customers scrambled to buy Apple Inc's (AAPL.O: Quote) marquee product in pink for the first time.

Eager buyers - joined by at least one robot - flocked to Apple stores from Sydney to New York and San Francisco, itching to get their hands on new models boasting an improved camera and a screen feature Apple calls '3D Touch', which performs different functions depending on how hard a user presses.

“It’s very intuitive. I’m really excited to see what developers do with it," Leah Bentley, a 22-year-old software developer from Emeryville, California, said inside Apple's San Francisco store after purchasing her phone.

For all the sophisticated technology packed into the new iPhones, customers interviewed by Reuters were most excited by a more low-tech feature: the 'rose gold' finish, a new shade that Apple introduced with the current phone.

The novel hue - essentially sparkling pink - accounted for more than a third of early in-store sales, according to FBR Capital Markets analyst Daniel Ives, citing conversations with buyers.

Another of the hundreds gathered outside the store in downtown San Francisco was pink-haired software developer Jo Engo, 37, who has lobbied Apple leaders past and present for a phone in his favorite color.

"I have emailed not only Steve Jobs but Tim Cook," Engo said outside the store, sporting an Apple Watch with a pink band and an iPhone 6 in a pink case. "I'm so excited they're finally doing it."

Despite the crowds, the scene was less frenetic than usual at the San Francisco store, perhaps because more people now order phones online, and the release of a new device has become routine.   Continued...

A man takes pictures as Apple iPhone 6s and 6s Plus go on sale at an Apple Store in Beijing, China September 25, 2015. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj