Apple Fans Are Committed: Would You Spend Days In Line For a Phone? Or Publicity?

September 18, 2012  |  

Customers entering an Apple store for iPads in March. Image: Sipa via AP Images

Pre-orders for the Apple iPhone 5 have gone through the roof, with two million sold on Monday. Some people will have to wait to get theirs in October.

Others have decided to do their waiting on the street, in front of Apple stores, where the phones will be available starting Friday. People began lining up last week for their chance to be among the first purchase the phone. Just hanging out on the street in lawn chairs with blankets. Jessica Mellow told USA Today that she spent two weeks waiting in line for the iPhone 4S, saying it’s the experience of meeting people “that’s the best part.” Otherwise, she would just buy it online.

But dig a little deeper and you find that Mellow and others aren’t in line just for the experience or the phone. Some people want the publicity that comes with camping out in front of Apple as a new product is released. Mellow admitted to CNET that sitting in line gives her the chance to promote a company. And then there’s Hazem Sayed.

“[He] told CNET he’s in line for a chance to generate some publicity for Vibe, a social-network software application. Google Sayed’s name and you’ll see that he’s as famous for standing in line as he is for creating Vibe. During the iPad 2 sale in March 2011, Sayed paid a college student $900 for the No.1 position in line and was written up in Fortune.com and other media outlets,” the site reports.

For Apple, coverage of the people waiting in line for days for their products has led to a ton of press, building on the enthusiasm for their products.

So would you sit in line on the street for days to buy something? And is the publicity worth subjecting yourself to this sort of days-long wait?

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