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Polish cell carrier stocks iPhone lines with actors

Concerned about low demand, mobile phone operator Orange created fake lines in front of its stores in anticipation of the iPhone launch this week.

In New York, some Apple fans were miffed that the first people waiting in line for the iPhone 3G were activists hoping to stir up publicity for a cause. But don't you think they would've been even more ticked off if those first spots in the line were taken up by paid actors?

That's what's happened in Poland, where mobile phone operator Orange has admitted to Reuters that nearly two dozen stores in the country were manned with a line of actors in anticipation of Friday's iPhone launch.

"We have these fake queues at front of 20 stores around the country to drum up interest in the iPhone," the company told Reuters. The company has not said how many people were hired, how long they had to wait, or how they would be compensated.

But I certainly hope they got to keep the iPhones for free.

The whole thing is not really that far-fetched an idea. When lines started forming outside Apple Stores in New York long before the launch of the iPhone 3G, rumors circulated that it was actually a prank on behalf of culture jammers Improv Everywhere. It seemed more than plausible. Turns out the lines were real, due to rationing of the first-generation iPhones in anticipation of the still-unannounced 3G.

Regardless, it could be funny to see how an out-of-work comedian reacts to an overlong in-store activation process.