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."