So one of the things that have characterised the modern smartphone era has been epic queues outside Apple Stores on the days when a new iPhone launches. The iPhone 8 completely changed that. Stores around the world saw little or no queuing and as a result Apple employees and photographers far outnumbered shoppers.
Here in Auckland its possible to walk into a retail store and pick any iPhone model off the shelf so long as you aren't too choosy about which colour you prefer.
It seems like the same is true in most, if not all, countries around the world.
Everyone is waiting for the iPhone X. That's got the stock market spooked, with Apple's stock down since last week. This despite the knowledge that the iPhone X is going to sell by the bucketload when it arrives.
The problem for the iPhone 8 is that it looks and feels like an old phone. I just don't see it as a compelling upgrade even for iPhone 6 users. That's going to keep iPhone 8 sales low and make the rumoured delays to the iPhone X even more painful for Apple's accountants.
For now the sight of dozens of Apple Store employees applauding a handful of customers into stores is going to mark the first major Apple misstep of the iPhone era. Long term its unlikely to do much harm to the company. But it's a sign that even a supply chain genius like Tim Cook gets things wrong occasionally.