They started queuing outside the Apple Store on Orchard Road on Wednesday to lay their hands on the iPhone 11, its Pro and Pro Max versions and the new Apple Watch.
Nguyen Lam, an iPhone seller who has traveled to Singapore many times in the past for new Apple products, said there is a larger crowd this year, many of them with their luggage to return to Vietnam as soon as they buy the products.
But there has been no pushing and shoving like in previous years, he said. Each person in the queue gets a numbered wristband and can leave the queue for a maximum of 60 minutes.
Since the iPhone 11 is not being released in Vietnam, an estimated nine out of 10 people queuing are Vietnamese. A person is allowed a maximum of two phones, and so buyers usually go in groups to buy large enough numbers.
“I see Vietnamese everywhere in Singapore these days, even on the plane,” Tran Quang, one of the buyers, said.
Quang said he could sell an iPhone for VND8 million ($344) more than its price in Vietnam, but not much is left after the cost of the flight and food.
The iPhone 11 starts at $699 and could fetch around 60 percent higher in Vietnam, while the iPhone 11 Pro, starting at $999, has a 35 percent premium.
Statistics released by Google last week showed that the iPhone 11 was most sought after in the world by Vietnamese internet users. The number of Google searches for iPhone 11 by Vietnamese netizens exceeded 100,000 by September 9.
The iPhone had a 6.4 percent market share in Vietnam in July, putting it behind Samsung, Oppo and Xiaomi, according to market research firm GfK.
A report issued in January 2018 by U.K.-based advertising firm We Are Social said around 75 million people in Vietnam, or almost 80 percent of the population, use smartphones.
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