“The long lines of people eager to get their hands on Apple Inc.’s latest iPhones took on a new flavor this year, as queues swelled with tourists joining in the revelry to buy handsets that aren’t yet available back home,” Tim Higgins, Doni Bloomfield and Cornelius Rahn report for Bloomberg.

“Russians standing in line in Berlin’s Kurfürstendamm sang ‘Katyusha’ and drank vodka, while Brazilians traveled halfway across the world to Sydney to pick up the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models,” Higgins, Bloomfield and Rahn report. “Mandarin, Vietnamese and Spanish were being spoken outside San Francisco’s Apple Store.”

“The globetrotting shoppers lining up on the first day of iPhone sales in Australia, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Germany, France, U.K., Canada, Puerto Rico and the U.S. were there because they won’t be able to buy the new bigger-screen smartphones until Sept. 26 at the earliest in the next batch of countries,” Higgins, Bloomfield and Rahn report. “Last year, was the first — and so far only — time that Apple’s phones were available in China on the same day as the global debut. Previously, the typical three-month lag before the iPhone’s debut in China helped fuel smuggling of about 20 million iPhones into China annually, according to Jun Zhang, head of China equities research at Rosenblatt Securities Inc. in San Francisco. As many as 5 million iPhones may be smuggled into China before the new models are officially available, according to Neil Shah, Mumbai-based research director for devices at Counterpoint Research.”

Read more in the full article here.

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