The bitter rivalry between foes Apple and Samsung will come to a head on Sydney’s George St, this Friday. Samsung’s new pop-up store, just doors away from Apple Store located on 367 George St which see some serious crowd chaos on Friday, when Apple opens its doors at 8am for the release of the new iPhone 4S – the same time Samsung opens its door for fans eager to get their hand on $2 Galaxy S II handset.
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Samsung’s store which is in town for one week only but is “going off” in a big way, say Samsung sources with the 8am line up for free phones causing a scrum as we reported yesterday, with queues mounting early from early morning, and fans are going ‘off their heads’ by keeping overnight vigils for the Galaxy.
One fan was seen lining up on 7pm on Monday night for an 8am opening the following morning.
The gathering queues are said to be longer than typical Apple Stores, with Samsung letting only the first ten in line avail of the deal.
The cheap $2 phones are indeed causing some crazy antics, say sources, with one enthused Galaxy fan apparently having flown all the way from Melbourne.
“There is a mad fanatic who is there lining up now for the 8am tomorrow opening. He is tweeting his head off. We also have heard rumors that there is a guy flying up from Melbourne to line up until he gets one,” sources told SmartHouse.
However, queues have also begun building outside Apple Store, since yesterday.
But the Galaxy S II makers have pulled off a really clever marketing trick by giving away $2 smartphones (and biggest threat to iPhone 4) to the first ten store entrants all this week.
It certainly popped up at a convenient time, to debut Samsung’s new Music Hub service in Australia, but is sure to steal some of the attention surrounding iPhone 4S release on Friday, by boasting lines and possibly some screaming fans of its own.
However, Samsung are playing innocent on the freebies, claiming “despite this activation being kept relatively low key, people are finding out about this store and the 10 x $2 Galaxy SII promo each day.”
But Apple are taking no chances either and are luring fans into its white den offering “free personal setup” and will open all 13 stores throughout Australia at 8am this Friday to deal with the (expected) throngs of consumers.
“Every customer who buys an iPhone 4S at an Apple retail store will be offered free Personal Setup service, helping them customise their iPhone 4S by setting up email, showing them new apps from the App Store and more, so they’ll be up and running with their new iPhone before they leave the store,” it announced on Monday.
And crowds are sure to line up for 4S, if global pre-order sales are anything to go by. I recall having passed the Apple Store on George St days after the iPad 2 was released, where Apple fanatics lined up overnight to get the tab, and took up most of the street, to boot.
And while the rivals are engaging in battle for the tech consumer, lets hope Apple and Samsung fans themselves dont start pelting each other. (Pedestrians walking to work this Friday may have to prepare itself for some bizzare scenes.)
But its not just Samsung who are conscious of the effect the new iPhone may or may not have on business.
Only today, JB Hi-Fi said it hopes the new handset will buoy sales, while all main telcos Telstra, Optus and Vodafone have released their competitive price plans.