Why lines for a new iPhone aren't as long this time aroundThe line at New York City's flagship Apple store for the new iPhone 6S was much shorter than it was in previous iPhone launches. CNET's Bridget Carey looks at why and the impact of new carrier plans.
Changes in iPhone contracts are changing the dynamics of iPhone lines. I'm Bridget Carey, this is your cnet update. [MUSIC] Apple's iPhone 6S and 6S Plus went on sale in stores around the world on Friday. And at New York City's flagship 5th Avenue Apple Store there was the usual cheering and high fives from employees as customers who waited over night funneled into the store to be the first with the new model. It's the same sight we see every year. But something was very different this time around. The line at this flagship store was extremely short compared to previous years. Now, the iPhone isn't loosing popularity. What's more likely the case is that consumers don't have big reason to buy at an Apple Store. When you can get a better deal by going directly to a carrier store. Take this into consideration. Any die hard iPhone fan that has been with AT&T for years may have one of those old unlimited plan contracts where you pay $200 up front. Well, you can no longer renew that plan at an Apple store. You can only get it if you buy directly from AT&T. T-Mobile and Sprint have crazy cheap leasing plans for customers who trade in their old phones but you have to go to the carrier's store to get the deal. Sprint is only charging $1 a month for an iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. It's in its upgrade every year plan. And T-Mobile is offering the iPhone for $5 a month in stores. Normally in years past, the line wraps around several city block. As you can see in this video from last year. It was other chaos. So people running and becoming unorderly heard. Most of the people in line at this store last year were reselling it to buyers in China because China wasn't getting the iPhone on day one. So people were making profits of 300 or 500 dollars a phone, selling it to buyers overseas. Now this year that changed. China was among the first 12 countries to get the Iphone. But the demand still exists for buyers from other countries that don't have it yet and don't want to wait. The first customer out of the Fifth Avenue Apple store was Justina Setrinata. A 25 year old student visiting from Lithuania. She pre-ordered a rose gold model and jumped in line at 2 am. The pre-ordering made it easy for her to get out first. When she ran out, the crowd cheered for her to open it up and show it off and she didn't drop it, luckily. She now heads back home to Lithuania, where the iPhone 6s is not yet available to buy. That's it for this tech news update. And if you have a story to share by your iPhone buying experience email email@example.com or send me a tweet. From our studios in New York, I'm Bridget Carey. [SOUND]