That really is the question! Has that magic evaporated?
I think that the original magic of people waiting for days outside Apple Stores en mass to try and get the latest and greatest iPhone is possibly a thing of the past. The dynamic of shoppers have changed. Many would rather sit up until midnight to do pre-orders and then receive their iPhone and have it when it arrives and just wait.
In fact there is a good point to doing this rather than freezing you butt off for days during the night being uncomfortable and looking like panhandlers!
Chances are the ones sitting in the Apple Stores are early production models, specifically made for retail on the first day mixed with some made to bulk up the stocks. Those being shipped to carriers and to customers direct are ones made within the last few days and are based on actual pre-order information and are shipped in direct from China. It is not until later that stocks build in the Logistics centers around the country that Apple use.
Even better you get to sit at home and place your order.
Would I personally sit up and make a preorder?
When the iPhone 4 launched with Verizon I most certainly did. When the iPad 2 launched I did. I also did it for the iPhone 6 when I ordered my 6 Plus. Would I do it again, not so much. I’d rather wait for the “shit storm” to die down. For me these days the iPhone is just a device that I use for personal and business use.
The Apple Watch I didn’t get round to ordering it until almost a year after the launch. I just didn’t get round to ordering one. I do regret ordering it earlier.
In fact the only reason I currently use an iPhone 6S Plus is because T-Mobile blamed my iPhone 6 for a fault when it was a faulty SIM card that was stopping it connnecting to the network. I was rather disappointed that I had traded in my iPhone when I didn’t need to. I don’t regret doing it though I don’t think the extra features were enticing enough that I would have purchased the device because I wanted to it was because I was about to travel on business and didn’t want to be without a phone.
I would rather wait two or three or more months and then order, maybe just saunter into an Apple store and make a purchase there.
So when some Tech News outlets tell the world that there is little demand for iPhones based on the lack of people camping outside stores, especially when it is a Tech website that has an axe to grind when it comes to Apple, sometimes you have to remember that two years ago or more the whole dynamic of the buyer was different. Two years ago we didn’t use the internet for as much of our shopping purchases as we do today, two years ago is like eon’s ago in the tech world.