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Apple's iPhone 7 arrives, but there aren't enough 7 Pluses to go around

iPhone 7 arrives

Well, the wait is over – the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus officially went on sale Friday around the world. After last week’s splashy Apple announcement event and internet furor over the loss of the standard headphone jack, consumers can now get their hands on the phones themselves. 

That is, unless they were hoping to snag a top-of-the-line iPhone 7 Plus – if they didn’t order ahead of time, consumers might be disappointed to find Apple doesn’t have enough inventory for Apple Stores today. 

On Wednesday, Apple​ acknowledged​ that the 7 Plus and the glossy Jet Black iPhone 7​ sold out in pre-orders and would initially be unavailable for walk-in purchasers.

“Devastated” over the iPhone 7 Plus

First out of the gate was Australia. The George Street Apple Store in Sydney was the honorary “first buyer” location globally, CNET reports​.

Of course, some die-hard Apple fans who camped out waiting for the doors to open were thrilled with the big moment, but others expressed big disappointment in the iPhone 7 Plus shortfall​.

Sixteen-year-old Marcus Barsoum told CNET he’d been waiting outside the store since Wednesday. “I finished my exams so I’ve got no school for the next few weeks,” he said. 

“We were hoping for the 7 Plus in the Jet Black, so we were devastated at the time [we heard it wasn’t available] but I’m personally happy to have a 7 matte black,” he added.

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The first people in Sydney Australia to purchase the iPhone 7. Dave Cheng/CNET

The Big Apple

In New York, it was business as usual for the iPhone debut – in other words, quite a spectacle. Outside the flagship Apple Store​ on Fifth Avenue, store workers did some break dancing for onlookers before the store opened its doors.  

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An Apple worker breakdances on the sidewalk before the opening of the Apple Store on New York’s Fifth Avenue, on the opening day of iPhone 7 sales, Sept. 16, 2016. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

However, that was little consolation to some customers. “It’s a total bummer,” Luis Lorenzo, 46, told CNET when asked about not being able to buy the 7 Plus. “I’m disappointed because I waited so long for the iPhone 7 Plus. They sold out completely and I was second in line at the flagship store.”

Lorenzo was dedicated in his quest for a 7 Plus – he waited outside the store for 14 days and 15 nights. He ultimately left the line, disappointed.

Jaime Gonzalez, 39, of Queens, was first in line and was the first to buy the iPhone 7. In fact, he bought two.

He originally wanted to purchase the Plus – like many others – but said he was happy with his iPhone 7​. He was so caught up in the moment that he left his ID and credit card in the store. 

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An Apple employee hands over iPhone 7 phones on the first day of sales of the new phone at the Apple store in Berlin, Germany, on September 16, 2016. Sean Gallup, Getty Images

Apple is hoping the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus will outsell last year’s models, which started off strong with 13 million reported sold worldwide in their first three days on the market in September 2015. That topped the record of 10 million opening-weekend sales in 2014, when the iPhone 6 made its debut.

Across the pond

On the other side of the Atlantic, retailers in the U.K. and other European countries instituted a new policy where iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Pluses were only available for those who ordered online and not walk-ins on release day. 

The Apple Watch Series 2​ was available for walk-in purchases.

This didn’t deter consumers from joining in on the collective fun of an Apple launch. CNET reports that in Berlin, a small number of fans started waiting in lines earlier this week because they simply enjoyed the social aspect of waiting for an iPhone.

Apple frenzy hasn’t been catching on everywhere. Chatter surrounding the new devices has been less hyped up in mainland China​, the Telegraph reports. Smartphones from Xiaomi​, Huawei​, OPPO and other Chinese brands are bigger sellers there.

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A couple tests the new iPhone 7 during the opening day of sales at an Apple store in Shanghai, China, on September 16, 2016. JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images

Wu Ting, 28, from Nanjing, told the Telegraph she was surprised that she was the first person in line at the Apple store in Shanghai Friday morning. Not only was it Apple launch day, but it was a Chinese holiday.

“I found last year that there were crowds of people, but this year almost no one. I came an hour early thinking I’d have to wait a long time before getting seen,” she said.

Market watchers will be on the lookout to see how the new iPhones do in China given that the iPhone 6s’s underwhelming sales in China​ last year contributed to Apple’s first global revenue decline​ in more than a decade.