In case you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know that the iPhone 5s goes on sale tomorrow around the globe. We’ve been watching the lines start to form via the magic of the internet, keeping an eye on Twitter and Instagram, for starters.
The iPad mini lines have been nowhere near as big as expected.
Apple is the only consumer electronics company in the world that consistently releases new gadgets that sell in their millions during the first few days of availability. During their respective launch weekends alone, Apple sold 3 million third-generation iPad units, 4 million iPhone 4S units, and 5 million iPhone 5 units.
In fact, the company’s iOS devices have become so popular that they’re now considered a failure if they don’t sell several million within their first 72 hours on the market. According to one analyst, the iPad mini has to shift at least 3 million units this weekend for it to be considered a successful device.
SAN FRANCISCO — This is Charlie Hufnagel, who was paid $1,500 to be first in line for the iPhone 5 at Apple’s flagship store here in the city.
Hufnagel was hired through TaskRabbit, an increasingly popular freelance odd-job company in this economy. He’s been camping out in front of the store for 94 hours (nearly 4 days) to snag a new iPhone for a “private investor.”
In fact, there are about 70 “TaskRabbits” in line here in San Francisco, who are being paid $55 to wait up to four hours for other people. A TaskRabbit rep estimated that one in four in line here are TaskRabbits.
A photo of the iPhone 5 line outside of the University Village Apple Store in Seattle by intrepid CultCast host, Erfon Elijah.
Good morning! If you got in on the preorder crush last Friday within the first hour, you’re probably not even reading these words, but tucked into your warm bed, dreaming of iPhone 5s and dancing Wozzes. If you didn’t, though, we know where you are: camped outside of your local Apple Store in the cold, going absolutely bonkers with anticipation for Apple’s best phone yet.
So line-waiters, this post is for you. Tell us a few things. Where are you? What time is it there? How big’s the line you’re in? And, most importantly, which iPhone 5 are you getting?
Me, I’m getting too rickety in the bones for lines, so I’m waiting for my 64GB white iPhone 5 on Verizon to leave the Fed Ex sorting facility in South Boston. How about you? Let’s talk about it!
The iPhone 5 went on sale in Australia today, and hundreds of folks lined up for the privilege of being some of the first in the country to purchase and own Apple’s latest cultural and technical marvel. Some waited as long as 68 hours for the iPhone 5, competing to be the first person in the world to own an iPhone 5.
Australian Apple fans waiting in line for the iPhone 5.
If you’re planning on waiting in line for an iPhone 5 tomorrow, be warned: judging by the numbers of people already waiting outside some of the big Apple Stores, the iPhone 5 launch is looking like it’s going to be an absolute zoo. There have never been this many people in line this far ahead of an official Apple product launch, ever. And Apple themselves anticipate long lines outside of their stores “all day long, into the evening.”
Customers in Hong Kong must reserve Apple's new iPad online before they attempt to collect it from store.
iOS devices are big business in China, and not just for Apple. Gangs of scalpers queue up to get their hands on the latest devices on launch day so that they can later be sold on through the grey market for a sizable profit.
Back in October, when the iPhone 4S launched in Hong Kong, police were called to break up the riots that occurred outside of Apple retail stores as scalpers attempted to force their way into the lines ahead of genuine customers. To ensure it doesn’t happen again, Apple has warned scalpers not to queue up for its new iPad on Friday.
The iPhone 4S is set to finally launch in China tomorrow, but that hasn’t stopped the locals from lining up early to secure access to the coveted handset. The line for Apple’s flagship store in Beijing has gotten so out of control that Apple may have to cancel the launch there altogether.
Reports are coming in that Beijing SWAT teams have already been called in to handle thousands of angry scalpers and potential customers. There have reportedly been fights in the streets between gangs of professional scalpers that buy Apple devices in bulk to then resell at a higher price.
Londoners who can’t wait to get their hands on the new iPhone 4S have been forming huge queues outside of Apple’s Covent Garden and Regent Street retail stores this morning, hoping to get their hands on the latest device before they’re all gone. Here’s a few snaps from the U.K. stores.