Waiting in line in New York for an iPhone 5 has meant suffering through a rain storm and being poked away by a policeman. Is it worth it?
Taking Apple by storm
The iPhone 5 goes on sale Friday and the first people in line are all waiting it out, at least in part, to attract media attention to one company or another. Still, hundreds of consumers without any marketing agenda are expected to get in line behind them soon. As of Tuesday morning there were about 20 people in line at Apple's Manhattan flagship store on 5th Avenue.
Some of the people have waited in line since Friday. While these events often start out with a party-like atmosphere, it was obvious that the rain from a storm that hit early Tuesday was adding to the discomfort. Marathon line-sitting can be torture.
Some of the campers tried keeping the rain off with cardboard boxes, trash bags, tarps or umbrellas. A few even banded together to pay for a rental car that they parked nearby so they could take turns getting out of the rain. We will be updating this gallery leading up to Friday (This gallery first appeared on September 17).
Sayed compared the wait for the iPhone 5 to a very long plane trip.
He said he tries sleeping at night on his folding chair rather than on the ground but he concedes it's uncomfortable. Photographed is someone in line who doesn't seem to have any problem sleeping in a chair.
Some have ridiculed the line sitters for camping all night on the street just for a phone. On the other hand, some Apple fans think those waiting in line are cool. A couple of tourists from Argentina greeted Sayed on Tuesday (wearing the hat). Later, the pair asked to take their photo with him.
A New York policeman bids a good morning to those waiting in line for an iPhone 5. He tells them they can stay but that they must now wake and put away their sleeping gear. In addition to Apple's security personnel, two policemen were stationed near Apple's 5th Avenue store on Monday morning.
On Monday, Roger Chinchilla was last in line for the iPhone at the 5th Avenue Apple store and he seemed frustrated by that.
He and his brother Josh arrived on Friday with the intent to stake out the front of the line and was told that Apple hadn't sanctioned the line yet, so people would not be allowed to wait. By the time he returned, the line was formed and he was well back of the front.
Chinchilla is the founder of Refundo, an online financial services company, and he says he's there to promote the company as well as get his hands on an iPhone. He is unapologetic about his marketing or his love of Apple products. When asked if he heard a passerby call the group pathetic, Chinchilla joked: "What isn't pathetic is my Apple stock."
Paid line-sitters have begun posting ads to Craigslist. Here, a line sitter is offering to sit in line for what appears to be multiple people for $75 per head. That's not a bad deal. But if he's selling the same spot in line multiple times then it probably wouldn't be a great deal for the people behind this entrepreneurial line sitter.
Jessica Mellow, a body-paint model and artist (that's her on the right fully made up), has become something of a regular line sitter at the Apple events in New York. But Mellow objects to being described as a "publicity seeker."
Mellow acknowledges accepting a free iPhone from the company that sponsored her, electronics reseller Gazelle. But she says she's no iPhone-y. According to her, she loves iPhones and the adventure of camping out and would have done it had she not found a sponsor. I'll leave it up to readers to decide.
What is undeniable is that Mellow has interesting pursuits.