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A Couple Of Capitalists Trying To Capitalize On The New iPhone Frenzy

With the new iPhone release approaching, two business owners are camping out in front of an Apple store, which is the perfect spot to find new customers.

Are these people really lining up outside a New York City Apple store in anticipation of the new iPhone, which makes its public debut September 10?

Yes, but it’s more of a clever marketing ploy than a desperate attempt to get their hands on the device.

Jon Murphy and a friend are hoping that camping out in front of the store to will help promote their business, SellYourMac, which buys and sells used Apple equipment. And what better place to find potential customers looking to sell used Apple products than outside an Apple store immediately surrounding the release of a new iPhone?

It’s not a bad idea, unless they get competition from Apple’s pilot trade-in program, which allows customers to turn in an old phone for a newer model at a reduced price.

"We think the new iPhone will be available on the 20th … that’s our speculation, since it’s usually out on the Friday after the introduction," Murphy told VentureBeat. "So we think we’ll be out here for about two weeks."

The two are indeed prepared for the long haul. Decked out in SellYourMac T-shirts, they sit in lawn chairs and are equipped with sleeping bags, rain gear, a solar panel to power their electronics, and a "dive bag" to store those electronics and prevent them from getting wet. They sleep in shifts to protect themselves and their belongings. Shockingly, these two are not the first ones in line.

"I for sure thought we’d be first, no question," Murphy said. "But there were two people who arrived last night … they’ve apparently done this for three years."

[Image: VentureBeat; Flickr user Nechbi]

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  • Rob Shoesmith

    I camped 10 nights in London for an iPhone 4s a couple of years ago. The idea was to see if it would be possible to not spend any money whilst in line and rely indirectly on Apple's huge influence they have over society, the media and other companies. 

    I must say that camping for 10 days alone was one of the hardest things I have ever done. It felt like I was homeless. I connected with a lot of homeless people during the 10 days and it opened my eyes massively on their plight. 

    These guys will be shattered by the end of it. I could never do it again! 

    I wrote a book called Bin There Done That about my experiences in line which is free on iBooks right now.