Apple's products have a history of drawing rather large crowds to stores on launch day. Some people take off work a week or more in advance and head to the concrete jungle to set up camp outside their local Apple or carrier store. Gone are the days that people arrive early just to be the first to get their hands on the latest and greatest Apple product.
Amanda Foote, a college student living in New York, headed to Apple's flagship store on Wednesday and got in line at 5 PM. That's only two days ahead of time, which is a short wait in comparison to other releases. Foote's intent wasn't to be first in line to buy an iPad 2, but to sell her spot in line. Turns outs, her plan worked quite well. She will be walking away $900 richer (minus the cost of the new iPad 2, of course).
According to Mashable, Craigslist is “littered with offers” that range from $100 to $999 for someone to stand in line as a surrogate or spots in line that are for sale. This also happened at the iPhone 4's launch back in June of 2010, where the going rate for spots in line was up to $1,200. Mind-blowing, isn't it?
Not only do people sell their spots in line or show up days ahead of time, they fly in from all over the world. Mashable's report tells that people have flown in from Brazil and Belgium to join Miss Foote in line at the New York location. So what is it about Apple products that draw such a following?
Being an iOS user for nearly a year now, I can say that the platform has some key benefits over its competitors. For instance, ease of use, the fluidity and stability of the software, and the ecosystem that comes with Apple's other products. Add this in with the great build quality, longevity, and an endless supply of useless applications, and it's pretty clear why many people love their Apple products. None of this, however, would drive me to wait in the hectic lines or pay – more than the device itself is worth – for a closer spot.
I never would have expected this much hype after the iPad 2 announcement either (stupid of me, I know). Shipping with the same display resolution, same capacities (16GB, 32GB, 64GB), and presumably the same amount of RAM, the second iPad comes as a slight disappointment, especially in light of all of the other tablets headed our way. The only real improvements Apple has made to their popular tablet comes in thickness, weight, a pair of lackluster cameras, and processing power. These will soon be followed by an OS update to add a little icing to the cake.
While there are certainly a large number of fanatics out there that claim themselves part of the "cult," it is safe to say that people lining up for Apple's products is no longer just about the devices. People now line up to make money and many of them say it is for the “adventure,” too. They get to meet new people and “rough it” on the sidewalks for a couple days.
Luckily for those not looking for an adventure or wanting to dress up in battle armor, you can go ahead and order your iPad 2 online and you can expect it on your doorstep in two to three weeks.
Image via The Carribean Weblog