Twelve hours before doors opened at Apple's Fifth Avenue store in New York, 900 people already were waiting in line for the new the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. By the morning, there were easily more than 1,500 people in line. The flagship Apple store in New York normally draws a large crowd on iPhone launch day -- but not like this:
While stores around the world saw longer lines than usual, the scene at the iconic glass cube in Manhattan didn't consist of just the biggest Apple fan boys and girls. First in line are always the publicity hogs, getting paid to sit outside for weeks to promote products during the media circus surrounding the launch of a new iPhone. In fact, the first woman in line at the Fifth Avenue store, Moon Ray, said she was going to resell her iPhone 6 and stick with her Android phone.
Ray waited three weeks to be the first in line, but she wasn't the first out of the store. That prize went to Andreas Gibson, who preordered the iPhone 6 Plus online and waited in a separate queue to pick it up.
After passing a few dozen people in the main line you start to find fans who want to be part of the experience, waiting for three or four days on the sidewalk. Several international tourists waited overnight, wanting bragging rights to be the first in their country with the new iPhones. But most of the people in line hope to make money by reselling the iPhones abroad. The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are going for double the price in China, where the new models are not on sale yet.
The Fifth Avenue store line swarmed around several blocks. Shortly before doors opened on Friday morning, the end of the line degenerated into a herd. As the line began to tighten and move forward in the early hours, some near the end started to run. Police were able to hold off the stampede with barricades, but the orderly single-file queue was no more.
Apple continues to draw in passionate fans around the world. But in Manhattan, the high demand stirs up a passion for profit.
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