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Why iPhone fans are willing to pay £1,000 for the latest handsets

First customers enter the Apple Store in Regent Street, London, as the iPhone XS and XS Max go on sale in the UK for the first time. Credit: PA

Apple has released its latest iPhone handsets and an updated Apple Watch in stores across the UK and Ireland.

Masses of iPhone fans queued outside the company’s UK flagship Regent Street store on Friday morning, hoping to be among the first to get their hands on the iPhone XS and XS Max, which chief executive Tim Cook unveiled earlier this month as Apple’s most-advanced iPhone yet.

Most customers pre-ordered their new handsets for collection ahead of the store’s 8am opening, but about a dozen eager buyers without a reservation turned up to queue through cold and windy conditions on Thursday afternoon.

So what have iPhone fans said about the new products?

The iPhone XS Credit: PA

Tim Bajarin, an analyst at Creative Strategies praised the new processor of the iPhone XS which is nicknamed the "neural engine".

The analyst said: "The new A12 bionic chip, you can't underestimate the kind of power that Apple has just given us in the way of a new semiconductor.

"You know the whole idea of being able to do five trillion transactions per second on a phone is mind boggling".

The analyst added: "The bottom line is this is the most powerful smartphone that Apple's ever delivered in the context of an iPhone".

What are the new features?

  • Plus-size display - smaller design but bigger display
  • Memoji - The front facing camera allows you to unlock your phone with your face and take selfies
  • The Shortcuts app - It is a new app that lets you use a single Siri command to do a series of things on your phone
  • Control your Screen time - iPhone XS Screen Time allows you to see which apps you are spending most of your time
  • Set up an 'Alternate Appearance' - You can unlock your iPhone XS with your face
  • No home button - You can rely on different types of swipes to get around your phone
  • Portrait Mode - The shooting mode lets you focus pictures so that the background can go blurry
  • Immersive augmented reality AR experience
Testing the new handsets Credit: PA

With the ability to pre-order and reserve a slot to collect the latest phones, fanfare at the Apple Store was less than earlier years of the iPhone, which saw hundreds of hopeful customers camping outside overnight.

"I just came really early, I was here at half past one in the afternoon," explained the first customer in the Regent to buy the handset.

"It’s completely sad but I needed an upgrade," said a 19-year old student who also queued overnight.

The first customers enter the Apple Store in Regent Street. Credit: PA

"It’s gold, what’s not to love?" said another customer who participates in the ritual each year, waiting an hour in the pre-order queue.

"I always like to get a new bit of tech and flash it around the office a little bit."

The XS and XS Max, which start from £999 and £1,099 respectively, have been available to pre-order for the past week but the XR - Apple’s cheapest new smartphone, at £749 – will not hit shelves until late October.