Large crowds queued overnight to buy the new iPhone X as it went on sale in Britain.
The iPhone X is the first Apple smartphone to feature facial recognition technology, known as Face ID, which is used to unlock the device.
It is also the first iPhone to feature an edge-to-edge OLED screen, which Apple says will provide a brighter, more detailed display.
Industry experts had predicted large queues for the launch, after the iPhone 8 — released in September — was met with a muted response.
Smartphone expert Ernest Doku, from uSwitch.com, said many consumers had chosen to wait for the X as they saw it as the “main event” phone.
Reality TV star, Marco Pierre White Jr, son of the famous chef, was one the first to buy the new device at Apple’s Regent Street store, where the phone launched as the most expensive iPhone ever, starting at £999 (€1,125).
The former Celebrity Big Brother contestant paid for two new handsets in cash while live streaming his experience on a Samsung smartphone.
White told reporters he was buying devices for himself and a friend.
Last year, the model admitted in court to racking up thousands of pounds on a ex-girlfriend’s bank card, which the court was told included a visit to an Apple Store and paying for an Uber.
Labelled the “future” of the iPhone by Apple boss Tim Cook, the iPhone X uses Face ID facial recognition to unlock the device, doing away with the Home button and Touch ID fingerprint sensor of previous iPhone handsets. Hundreds queued overnight to ensure they were among the first to buy the device amid reports of limited early stock being available in the first days of sale.
Many other customers who pre-ordered the iPhone X had been given delivery dates up to six weeks away, after the initial stock sold out in minutes when pre-orders began on October 27.
Large queues were reported outside Apple retail stores globally, including in Australia and China.
Tweeting early yesterday morning, Apple CEO Mr Cook thanked customers who were “turning out around the world” to buy the new phone.
The launch comes in the wake of strong quarterly financial results on Thursday night, with Apple predicting revenue in the next quarter of more than $80bn, a suggestion that the company is confident of strong sales of the X.
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