What's the deal with lining up for Apple products?

I love my MacBook Pro. I liked the PowerBook before it. (And I still have the PowerBook as a ‘spare’.) I like my iMac G3. Though now in storage, it’s saved my bacon a few times. I don’t have time to use my iPod, but it’s great to have when I want some particular music.

But what’s the deal with people lining up overnight (or longer?) to buy an iPhone 6? I’ve seen the phenomenon for other products, too. What advantage is there to being the first on your block to own one? Wouldn’t it make more sense to simply order the product online?

It’s beyond being the first on your block to own one. It’s paying $800, or its equivalent in a phone/data commitment, to be a beta tester for Apple. This thing is going to be buggy as shit, with a radically different design and never-before-used screen.

There were 20+ people camped outside the AT&T store next to my office at 7:00 this morning.

Apple has cornered the market on people who are total suckers for hype. It doesn’t matter that their phones really aren’t anything special any more. They have hype!!!

I welcome the hype because I own the single best product Apple has ever produced. Their stock.

Apple products, especially the iPhone, are also treated as status symbols. People want to be the first among their friends and coworkers to show off their shiny new toy.

I think there’s also the concern, valid or not, that if they don’t get one on release, the initial stock will sell out and they’ll have to wait days or weeks to get one.

I’m also an Apple stockholder 21 shares, started with 2 shares back in '95, the first split doubled that to 4, sold one a couple years back, down to three, the. The 7 for 1 split brought me to my current 21

I also have a Mac Only house, an iMac, an iPad, and an iPhone 4S, the iMac 2.5ghz 21" screen replaced an old Mirror Door G4 that was getting on in age (12 years), I tend to run my Apple hardware as long as possible before upgrading, I’m not a mindless Appke cultist/fanboy

I also don’t get the obsessive need to constantly update to the latest model, run your stuff until it dies, then replace it, my 4s still does everything I need and it’s still running iOS 6.1, no need for a new iPhone yet, this one works just fine for my needs

I think Apple and others pay people to stand in line. No,I have no proof. However,when Alcoa was planning a strip mine outside of our town they would hold meetings in the middle of the workday and bus in their employees to fill the seats. Yes,apple/orange/grapes

The advantage is that you get to use it sooner.

As for online orders, the first lot (i.e. to ship on the day of release) can sell out very quickly, much less than an hour. If you don’t manage to get online right after it goes on sale, you may have to wait weeks before yours ships. But if you wait in line, you may still get it on the day of release.

I had no idea but lining up for sneakers is still a thing. Not that long ago I was leaving a movie at the local mall and I saw people with lawn chairs lining up. It was at the mall closing time so they were obviously staying the night. I was curious so I asked. It was for the new Jordans. Surprised the hell out of me. I thought that was over long ago.

I think a lot of people see it as more of a fun event to attend rather than getting some kind of “advantage” from it.
People have always done this for things that you can access just as easily a couple days or even a day later just to be caught up in the hype.
Midnight release parties for the Harry Potter books, opening day/night for certain movies, video games, video game systems, etc etc.
Grand opening of stores and restaurants, same thing. People are just drawn to what they perceive as a party atmosphere.

Verizon says I’m due for an upgrade and I want to trade in my 4s for a 6, but I’m not waiting in line that’s for sure. Sunday morning I might go up there early ish.

The best part of the iphone is Siri, especially when asking for directions.

…you know… morons. :wink:

Why not? Labor unions routinely hire people to protest for them. Those guys standing around waving union signs? In all likelyhood, most of them don’t belong to the union in question. They’re unemployed guys or day laborers being paid minimum wage to stand around holding a sign.

I was also surprised to find out this was still happening. At last year’s office Christmas party, we were at a restaurant in Royal Oak around lunch time, and we noticed a crowd of a couple dozen people standing around outside a store. In the rain. On a cold December day. Eventually, curiosity got the better of us, and I was sent out to discover what the heck was going on. The answer: “The new Air Jordans are coming out today.” At the risk of sounding racist, the crowd was 100% black.

Ooh, weeks, OMG, how do you stand it?

I’m not an Apple customer, so put me down in the “I don’t get it” camp.

To illustrate:

Lasy year I ordered my iPhone 5s less than 3 minutes after they went on sale at the Apple website. Because it had to be shipped to me, I wasn’t scehduled to revieve it until almost 2 weeks after they went on sale at the store.

And then, because someone at UPS stole my phone, I had to wait another 2 weeks to get a replacement, because I had to wait for a new one to be made; they were backordered almost a week at that point. And yeah, mine was shipped UPS directly from China, so ordering online doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get that phone ASAP after it’s for sale in the brick stores.

Going to the store means you walk out with the product right then.

So the union hires scabs to protest some other company’s hiring of scabs? Why can’t they pay decent wages to union sign holders? I know they exist, I see (presumably union) construction workers holding “stop” and “slow” signs on the highway all the time.

Not to derail this fantastic conversation with breaking news that some people people don’t get what other people do. (UrrMyGawd, look over there at what those people are doing. I so don’t get that!!!)

But derail I must.

I’m fully prepared to have my ignorance fought on this, but you got a cite that shows a union paid people to imitate union members on a picket line? Sounds like an urban myth to me.

Oh, like those hipster bastards aren’t judging me with their normcore and artisanal peanut butter on toast.

Fuck 'em. I get it. I’m just not joining. :cool:

I really doubt it. If anyone could make a credible claim to having been paid by Apple to create the hype, the media would lap it up. People love to hear stories of Apple’s hypocrisy.

People get in line pretty much any time there’s a limited resource that’s being sold (at least temporarily) below the market clearing price. Other things people line up for: hot restaurants, concert tickets, new video game consoles, celebrity autographs, cronuts…

During the first few weeks of sales of a new Apple device, supply is constrained well below demand. Some people wait in line because they really want that new Apple device. Some people know that they can turn around and sell it to someone who wants it now and doesn’t want to wait for a few weeks for the back order to come in.

There’s also a “Cult of Apple” sort of group of people who just really identify with the brand and want to have a participatory experience with each product. But that group of people is way smaller than most of Apple’s detractors want to believe.

Here’s an eBay search for completed iPhone 6+ buy-it-now auctions. Prices are $200-400 higher than retail and there are hundreds of them. Someone waiting in line can easily make a few hundred in a night of camping on the sidewalk. Not bad for most people.

Now, why is someone willing to pay that much of a premium to have a phone a few weeks early? I don’t know. But they are.