Artist’s impression of “lucky” Apple fans. Photo: The Shining, Warner Bros.
How much would you endure to get a cheap deal on a new Apple product?
When we wrote about the traditional Japanese “Lucky Bag” special offer — which gives customers the chance to buy a $300 gift bag, containing cut-price luxuries like MacBook Airs and Apple TVs — many U.S.-based Cult of Mac readers complained that they weren’t given similar promotions.
I saw their point — at least until I glimpsed something much worse: photos showing the freezing Apple fans in question, lined up outside the Sapporo, Japan Apple Store on January 1.
You know that moment when an otherwise fun special offer turns into the last scene of The Shining (spoilers!)? This is it.
Apple celebrates the Chinese New Year by offering its fans in Asia one-day “Red Friday” deals, similar to the Black Friday sale it holds for customers in the United States. And the Cupertino company has today begun teasing the event via its online store with a big red advert that promises “great gifts for everyone on your list.”
In the Western world, Santa Claus and Christmas rule the holiday season, but in Japan and other parts of Asia, it’s all about Fukubukuro or Lucky Bags, the annual New Year’s tradition where merchants distribute grab bags full of mystery contents at a huge discount to crazed shoppers.
This year, like every other year, Apple is taking part in the Lucky Bag phenomenon, allowing shoppers to spend about $400 for an Apple-certified Lucky Bag.
Usually, these bags have lower ticket items in them, like iPod touches and t-shirts, but every once in a while, some lucky S.O.B. gets a MacBook Air or a top-of-the-line iPad. There’s only a limited number of them, so you need to line up hours ahead of time. Anyone wish Apple did Lucky Bags over here?