Everywhere with an Apple store in Singapore seemed to be flooded with people last weekend due to the launch of the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus last Friday, where Singapore were among the 10 countries to first receive the new iPhones.
Although I do not quite understand (pardon me, Apple fans) why on earth people are willing to queue for hours, if not days, just to be among the earliest to possess the new iPhone, this phenomenon is quite a common occurrence every single time Apple announces the release of a new iPhone.
Let’s take a look at the types of people who joined the craze and were in the midst of the hype.
The Creative Ones
In Japan, the queue for the latest iPhones has broken the record, with 1,300 Apple fans queuing at a distance of two subway stations. Being known for their infinite creativity, Japaneses were not going to just stand and wait. Many Apple fans were seen lining up with a Steve Jobs mask or holding an apple – the real fruit.
While many were queuing hoping to own the iPhone themselves, some, like those in Hong Kong used the opportunity to earn some extra income. According to AppleInsider, many of those who got hold of the new iPhones immediately “resold their new devices to smugglers — who will bring them to China, where the release date of the new iPhones remains unknown — for as much as 500% markup.”
The PR Strategists
Apparently this queuing phenomenon is also a good ‘tool’ for some startups to promote themselves. In Australia, four people from Alphatise, a marketplace startup were queuing at the flagship Apple Store in Sydney just to get the new iPhones to be given as prizes to a pair of lucky winners for their PR stunt. They have given away the two new iPhone 6s to two extremely lucky winners – Ellen Colusso and Edward Tran.
“WE DID IT! Here we are at the Apple store, Sydney with our winners! Each of them has a brand new iPhone 6. 10 days of hard work has paid off,” Alphatise posted on its Facebook page.
The Seeker Of Redemption
In the United Kingdom, Darius Wlodarski, 41 had been queuing outside the Apple Store in Bristol since Wednesday, hoping to win his true love back with the new iPhone 6.
“It’s for my wife but basically, after 20 years of marriage, she split with me a month ago because I wasn’t the best husband and father. The first iPhone I bought for [my wife], she was so happy. Now she wants a bigger screen so I got a bigger one.
‘I want to say, ‘maybe one day you’ll realise…that I could be good again,” he was quoted by Metro.
And some are just queuing for the sake of ego.
“I’m getting a very wonderful feeling of success and victory. Last year I queued for almost seven nights and every morning the manager used to come and announce ‘Sorry, we don’t have any gold phones in stock’ and I felt like a loser,” Sam Sheikh quoted by The Telegraph. He and his friend were headed the queue Covent Garden Apple Store in London.
“But now I am feeling that on the first day I am one of the first people who is getting the gold in his hand, so I’m feeling very excited, very contended,” he added.
The Record Breakers
Back in the United States, Brian Ceballo and Joseph Cruz have been waited outside the Apple flagship store in New York City since the 31st of August, way before the official launch of the new iPhones, just so they could break the waiting period record.
“We wanted to beat the record, which had been 18 days,” Ceballo told CNBC.
Besides breaking the record, the couple is in the line for another purpose – making extra money. They have sold their first spots for USD2,500 (about SGD3,167) to another couple, Jason and Moon Ray. In the last five years, Ceballo said he had made about USD7,000 (about SGD8,867) on the iDay.
In conjunction with Kentucky Fried Chicken founder’s 124th birthday, KFC gave away free chickens to those waiting in line at Apple Stores in New York. Another smart and beneficial stunt for both the company and Apple fans.
Well, these people weren’t actually in line, but they certainly wished they were. The fact that this group exists shows that Apple fans are actually more desperate than we can possibly imagine.
In Shanghai, China, an undergraduate has been pictured holding a sign to promote his latest “business” just so, he could earn enough money to get the new iPhone. The girlfriend is available to dine, study, play games or going on dates together, but not available for “other funny businesses”.
According to Elite Daily, the student is renting out his girlfriend for 10 yuan (about SGD2) per hour or 50 yuan (about SGD10) per day or 500 yuan (about SGD103) per month. Looks like this poor student will have to give up his girlfriend for up to a year (if he is lucky) in exchange for his other true love, the iPhone 6. But I can’t help but wonder, how does the girlfriend feel about this?