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Lines Form Outside Moscow's GUM Ahead of iPhone 8 Release

Valery Sharifulin / TASS

Muscovites lined up en masse outside an upscale mall on Red Square in anticipation of the new Apple iPhone 8 sales launch, the tech news website reported Friday.

The water-resistant glass smartphone went on sale in the Russian capital a week after it hit shelves in the U.S., Britain and two dozen European and Asian countries.

Iguides posted a screenshot of an Instagram post showing people gathered outside the GUM mall entrance just after midnight.

“You can easily go and buy it the day after tomorrow,” the user wrote. “Is the Soviet spirit hereditary?” 

The tech website estimated 4,000 iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus devices have reached Russia unofficially ahead of Friday’s release. 

A GUM salesperson told the state-run TASS news agency that up to 60 of the new gadgets have been sold within the first hour.

The world’s largest IT vendor by revenue, Apple sells in Russia through its subsidiary, OOO Apple Rus. 

The subsidiary has handled all sales of Apple gadgets in the country since 2013. In 2016, Apple reported record profits of 6.45 billion rubles ($111 million at the current exchange rate) in Russia.

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