A snaking queue formed outside the Apple store on Orchard Road on the day of the release of the latest iPhone model, the iPhone 14, which arguably is not much of an upgrade from the iPhone 13.
When Mothership visited the store at around 3:30pm on Friday (Sep. 16), the queue had mostly subsided, but there were still around 100 people outside the store.
According to the Apple staff present, the queue was split into two -- one for customers to pick up their preordered iPhones, and another for walk-in customers.
Stocks for iPhone 14 have already run out, staff members said.
This means that those who did not preorder the phones are unable to buy them at the physical store.
A Singaporean family said they originally wanted to go into the store to buy an iPhone as well, but left shortly after they realised there were no more stocks.
According to Vietnamese local news, the Apple store in Singapore announced this year that only customers who have preordered the iPhones could pick their devices up at the store, and that walk-in customers will not be able to buy them.
The Apple store in Thailand, which released the iPhone 14 range for sale on the same day as Singapore, has apparently done the same too, limiting sales to preorders, at least for the initial period.
Many customers seen outside the Orchard Apple store and the Courts Nojima store were Vietnamese -- the iPhone 14 models will only be released in Vietnam a month later in October.
The official Apple Singapore website states that each customer is limited to two sets of each of the new phone's four models, namely, the iPhone 14, the iPhone 14 Plus, the iPhone 14 Pro and the iPhone 14 Pro Max.
Suitcases and wads of cash
While some Apple fans queued, others loitered around outside the queue, looking at their iPhones. Many had suitcases with them -- some of them were believed to have flown in specially to purchase the devices, either for themselves or perhaps with the intention of flipping them after they get home.
A few were spotted handling thick wads of cash.
Reselling the iPhones they just bought
Several small groups of people milling around outside the store were seen with at least four to eight newly bought iPhone 14s.
Mothership spoke to one group sitting on the pavement outside the store, and asked for the price of the iPhones they were reselling. The price they quoted for an iPhone 14 Pro Max was S$2,600.
The model is listed from S$1,799 on the official Apple website.
At around 4:00pm, police officers were seen trying to usher the crowd away from the walkway outside the Apple store, to free up space for pedestrians.
A four-minute walk away from the Orchard Apple store, small groups of people were also seen outside the Courts Nojima store. One man was spotted with at least four paper bags that presumably held his newly bought iPhone 14s.
A Courts staff member told Mothership that all iPhone 14 Pro models are sold out, but other iPhone 14 models are still available.
Top images by Zheng Zhangxin