Tepid Crowd at iPhone 8 Launch: ‘I’m Definitely Waiting for the iPhone X’

“My phone got stolen, that’s the only reason I got it,” said one iPhone 8 customer

With the morning sun beaming down on the Apple Store in downtown Santa Monica, Calif., the sparse crowd that showed up to get its hands on the freshly unveiled iPhone 8 had no reason to bring sunblock.

No line, no wait, no buzz.

The excitement that typically surrounds the release of a new iPhone was replaced with a collective “meh” on Friday.

“I wasn’t feeling [the iPhone 8],” said Michael, a 25-year-old that scoped out the device, before leaving empty handed. “By the look of it, not many people are feeling it.”

Several of those that did grab the $699 smartphone pointed to necessity, rather than the 8’s features, as their reason for shelling out.

“My phone got stolen, that’s the only reason I got it,” said Katie, a 21-year-old from Santa Monica, to TheWrap. “It’s much harder to get back home, [and] it will cost me $200 more,” said Sergei, a tourist visiting from Russia. “I’m also going to get the ‘X.'”

The Apple Store at the 3rd Street Promenade: no pushing and shoving for the iPhone 8

Ah, the iPhone X. Apple quickly subdued the hype for the iPhone 8 at its product launch last week, showing off the company’s new flagship device only minutes later. The 8 is undoubtedly a step forward in the iPhone’s evolution, but it mirrors the previous iterations of the device; the X, on the other hand, breaks the mold, with its wider screen, removal of the traditional “home button,” and facial-recognition software.

Many leaving the Apple Store said they’ll simply wait for the X to come out before upgrading their iPhones, without concern for its $300 price tag increase compared to the 8. In fact, only one customer said he’d deliberately chosen the 8 over the X. “I just didn’t need all the extra new features,” said Ron, a 62-year-old from Los Angeles. “I’m fine with the 8.”

The Apple Store wasn’t a ghost town, though. The next generation Apple Watch, now cellular-enabled, was clearly a hit.  “I can run with it now,” said Vince, a tech worker from Santa Monica, about the untethered Watch. “I don’t need my iPhone anymore.”

Others echoed the same thing — and said they’d rather wait for the next iPhone instead.

“It’s my first Watch ever,” said 24-year-old local Michael, as he strapped on the device and hopped on his bike. “And I’m definitely waiting for the iPhone X.”