Monday, July 2, 2007

iPhone Madness

Apple, Inc. unveiled its much ballyhooed iPhone on Friday, June 29 at 6:00 PM in New York City and across the country. People began forming a line at the Apple Store on 5th Avenue between 58th and 59th Street as early as Tuesday night -- three days before the product went on sale. However, the more interesting news about this event was that only a few of the people waiting in line were actually going to keep the iPhones for themselves. Some of them were there as a favor for their (otherwise working and wealthier) friends while the others were hoping to scalp the iPhones for a profit. One very entrepreneural young man was interviewed on TV and said his iPhone was available for sale at $1,000 once he got it. The phone normally retails at $499 (4 Gig) and $599 (8 Gig).

Keropokman from Singapore Daily Photo suggested I go to the Apple Store to photograph the event so I did, on Friday afternoon at about 4:00 PM. When I got there, numerous press agencies and policemen have already descended on the plaza and there were barricades set up to improve traffic flow and crowd control. In the photo, you can see the glass cube where the Apple Store is located and the people who have been waiting since Tuesday. Some brought sleeping bags while others had folding lawn chairs. It was an interesting sight indeed.

For more photos of the iPhone launch event, click here.

So have you ever done something like this before? If not, what would make you stand in line for more than a couple of hours so you can get the tickets or entry to an event?

32 comments:

Tomate Farcie said...

It looks very well organized. We had something similar but on a smaller scale in San Francisco. I put a picture on my photo blog, if you're interested.

http://vachequiritquipleure.blogspot.com/

Peter said...

I would certainly be prepared to wait a few few hours to get tickets to a very specific concert, but not days and not for a phone!

In France, the iPhone will only be out by the end of the year and in the meantime some competitors will also offer similar ones. It certainly looks attractive, but for us there is now time for "let's wait and see"!

Yasser Rahman said...

A much awaited event. The whole thign has a very communal twist to it. Check this like for info,

http://www.thepatri0t.net/2006/11/08/apples-mecca-non-sense/

And i would have never missed the red light, they last 180 seconds! LOL

Abraham Lincoln said...

I enjoyed your post and it was interesting reading. No, I have never done that or waited in lines to buy anything. It isn't worth it to me. I think my time is more valuable than to waste it in line for days. I do think it is rather funny that people will wait though and then spend a lot of money.

edwin s said...

you know, as much as i want the iPhone, I wouldn't stand in line.

why?
cos
1) there will always be enough stock
2) I can't stand in lines and queues. I get very irate and my back can't take it
3) do I need another picture taken of me looking like a desperate housewife? I fear not. Enough floating about as it is (sorry people who queued.)

BTW, have i replied your email about your visiting in August?

Olivier said...

quelle folie juste pour un telephone, n'empeche que ce magasin est superbe.
Chacun sa folie ;o)

which madness right for a telephone, nevertheless this store is superb. Each one its madness ;O)

Oya said...

Yes,I read that madness in paper...

RamblingRound said...

I applaud you for going down to get this! I saw this on TV, and no I have never stood in line for something like this. Longest I have ever stood in line would have to be at Disney World, and that was maybe 45 minutes. I am not a stand-in-line type person! Don't usually work that much time into my schedule!But I have had to wait a long time for things - like doctor appointments, and in those instances, I take a book along.

Nathalie said...

Now that's something I just don't understand... it's beyond me!
Just like the Harry Potter thing. Waiting in queues for days prior to the event, not for me.

annulla said...

When that Apple Store opened, I waited a few hours to get inside. Of course, they were giving away t-shirts and computers the first day, and I was hoping that I'd snag one of each (got the t-shirt, but no such luck with the MacBook).

The longest I ever waited on line for something was three or four (or maybe five) days, when I was trying to get a flight out of a country that was at war.

We just stayed in the airport round the clock. Every once in a while they'd announce that a flight was boarding, so we'd sprint across the tarmac, get on, wait a few hours and then get off.

Lost all track of time, and when we finally got into the air, we weren't sure where we'd be able to land, but we arrived safe and sound in the middle of the night.

stilettoheights said...

our apple store was out of control too...people were camped out for days...

Kate said...

Waiting in line? Never, unless it was a situation described by Annulla. Had to smile at the recent reports about the difficulty some people had activating the iPhone. My experience has been that shortly after release, these objects drop in price and competitors emerge with similar products. I'd rather go to a movie!!

Z said...

When I first read about the iPhone way back, I was all excited. Strangely, I feel none of that now. I don't even know when and if they'll be available in Switzerland.

Oh for the love of food! said...

hmmm.. I'm not one to line up and wait hours on end for anything, Ming.
I hope you feel all better now. What's that funky thing you ate?

Emily Lin said...

Totally madness! I've never done this - waiting somewhere for something for hours. (I still can't figure out any particular event that I would do that. Perhaps a concert?)

Well, I've falling in love with iPhone since I watched the review of it. But.. it's a gadget anyway. I'll get it when I have enough money on buying that. :p

Fénix (Bostonscapes DP) said...

No, Ming. I've never done such a (stupid) thing and never will.

Re: the iPhone, do I need that thing? Nah.

Per Stromsjo said...

You’ve got to hand it to them; this is darn effective marketing…

There isn’t much which would have me waiting in line for hours. I expect to be able to reserve and pay tickets over the net. I most definitely would not go through all of this to purchase something which will be readily available in stores when this hoopla is over.

Am I getting old? ;)

Todd HellsKitchen said...

I can't even imagine what it would take for me to get in a line like that...

Maybe if a billionaire was giving away free money...

Chuckeroon said...

Hi Ming, I've been saving you up for a delicacy, and I've just dropped in for a "MIng Binge".

Greatly enjoyed as always....but I'm worried about your Brunch eating habits. How much do you weigh? Teee Heee, and good wishes, always.

GMG said...

I had been for a short time in small queues for some concerts, theatres or so. Not for Potter, Gadgets or similar... Anyhow, in a country with roughly 10.5 million people, the number of cell phones reaches more than 12 million... So, why bother?

Ann said...

quelle folie indeed!

And all for a silly phone?

The Cooking Ninja said...

Saw that on TV news ;)

Gerald England said...

sheer lunacy -- nothing I can think of would be worth the hassle. I go hairless if I have to wait for long -- soon they'll be after the new Harry Potter - £8.99 the target price here - me I'd wait two years and pick one up in a charity shop for 50p -- same book -- why would I have to have it NOW and as for a phone - I don't need one as I keep telling the spam-diallers who phone me three or four times a week telling me they are giving me a free phone!

Fabrizio ikol22 said...

Well I honestly think that to be in line to buy an iPhone or Sony Playstation or Harry Potter novel may be easily considered a collective stupidity phenomenon.

Then all this to buy iPhone is even more considered that it has good chance to be another sort of fake as iPod is.

Tara said...

I think I'll wait for version 2.0, or a lower price. I can't see myself waiting days to spend $600 on a tiny computer. But I have waited outside the mall in the cold before sunrise on the day after Thanksgiving...

Aloha said...

I agree about waiting for the prices to drop (as they always do)...but I have waited in a line kind of like that once, many years ago. I had young children at the time and they wanted nothing more than Furbies for Christmas. Of course the Furbies where in short supply and wouldn't ya know it...Toys R Us had a special sale at like 4:00 AM! On Cristmas Eve! We where in line for hours! We got the Furbies though, and thats what counted! Crazy the people you meet, oh and we waited in line for the Star Wars "Phantom Menace", but we did that for the show you get from all the other people while in line!

Coltrane_lives said...

Waiting in line...for a phone? Are you kidding me? It ranks up there with waiting in line at our DMV. Now if the next coming of John Coltrane were to appear and there were tickets to a concert...okay maybe 30 minutes. :-) Cool photo and narrative.

dijah said...

Madness!I can't beleive some people would actually wait there!

I would only go in line for the premiere of the final Harry Potter book on July the 21st but unfortunately I couldn't because my uncle will be sending it to me as soon as he gets it.Probabbly I could get in a long line for the movie instead!

tigerfish said...

Saw it over the news. Thought it was crazy. It is just another gadget. But for the gadget-crazy, Apple's marketing sure wins again :)

Belinda said...

OK - what IS an iPhone????? If it's anything like an iPod nano (which I bought last year), there'll be something almost identical on the market very soon, that'll be much more user friendly AND cheaper!!

I slept out overnight for Pearl Jam tickets more than 10 years ago. As soon as the ticket windows opened, there was a mad rush forward, so there was actually no point lining up! Got my tickets though....so I was happy! :o)

Carol E. said...

The only time I've waited in a long line is when IKEA opened in this area. I stupidly suggested to visiting relatives that we go, on one of its first days. The place was packed and we had to shuffle along in a huge line doing nothing but gawking at stuff. We couldn't leave because we had been separated, and IKEA is set up in a curlicue way that makes it tough to escape! Never again!

Keropok Man said...

Haha... Thanks for taking the photos!

We wont get it here until next year or next. haha..