People are starting to realise the marketing potential in buying a new iPhone.
Queues have already started forming outside Apple stores across the globe, from New York to London, in anticipation of the new iPhone 5 which will go on sale on Friday. Campers were first spotted outside Apple’s Fifth Avenue store in New York last Thursday, a full eight days before the phone goes on sale.
But all is not what it seems. The first in line are not simply camping because of an irrational love for the iPhone but because being the first to wait in line outside an Apple store can attract a lot of attention and online publicity.
According to Fortune the first two individuals waiting in line in New York are there to promote a new social network called Vibe. The others are being sponsored by Gazelle, a company that buys up old iPhones. Two more are musicians trying to promote their latest album while one individual has simply starting queuing in the hope that someone will pay a large amount of money to take his place. It seems that nobody is actually queuing just to buy an iPhone.
Outside Apple’s London store in Covent Garden, the first people spotted camping in preparation for Friday’s launch are actually fundraisers from Cancer Research UK. A kind passer-by has already donated some expensive camping equipment to the two fundraisers, who promise to auction off their new iPhone 5 on Friday to raise money for Cancer Research.
The iPhone 5 is expected to exceed sales records set by earlier iPhone launches, and Apple sold more than 2 million pre-orders in the space of one hour last Friday. Some people are already accusing Apple of manipulating supply levels to create the sort of queues that people have come to expect with iPhone launches, but as we have seen, this may not be the case.