There were more people lined up for the opening of a local bank than at an Apple Store in China for the launch of the iPhone 8. At least, that was the case cherry-picked in Hangzhou.

Of the 41 Apple Stores nationwide, the city’s West Lake location saw only two people line up for an 8am open this Friday — despite the many rows of barricades set up by two or three dozen estimated security personnel. One Hangzhou News photographer captured a picture of six people at the local bank branch before trading began.

Image: Hangzhou News

Store employees claimed that customers needed to register to buy one of many iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus or Apple Watch Series 3 units at least one day in advance. One buyer came out of the store and told a reporter that the new iPhone 8 felt much like the iPhone 7. He then had to rush to work. Another bought just an Apple Watch as a gift for a friend… and also had to rush to work.

By 8:43, after a few more people strolled in, the barricades were set aside.

The South China Morning Post, based out of Hong Kong, saw more activity, but not that much. Two central business district locations that saw thousands line up for the iPhone 7 devices last year only had a few dozen by 8am traipsing down the security queue.

“I’m quite disappointed with the resale price,” said one buyer who bought a pair of iPhone 8 Plus devices, then immediately sold them to a Russian trader, “I only made a small profit of about HK$800 [US$102] from the two phones. I used to make HK$800 from reselling one iPhone 6.”

At least in this case, the dammed demand for the iPhone X, to be released November 3, seems more palpable in the SAR than on the mainland social sites, if only for the express purpose of reselling.

Apple has been experiencing declines in sales performance in the Chinese market since the launch of the iPhone 6. Newer devices have been seen as iterative of the previous one.

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