iPhone line-sitting has never been a proud endeavour, but at least there was something pure about the diehards and wackos that set up shop outside Apple Stores days and weeks ahead of launch. This year it’s just a bunch of sellouts and self-promoters.
Fortune reports that the first two people in line outside of Apple’s flagship Fifth Ave cube in New York are there to promote a social media startup. The next two are being sponsored by a service that buys old electronics (like, say, your iPhone 4S), and one of them is naturally blogging about it. The fifth intends to sell his spot to the highest bidder, and the last two are aspiring musicians hoping to get their names out there.
Again, there’s no such thing as the sanctity of line-sitting. It’s always been a strange pursuit, especially since the advent of the online preorder. But at least there was something sociologically interesting when a mass of people deprived themselves so much for so long because their devotion to a hunk of metal (or glass) was so strong. This? This is just a marketing symbiote. Apple gets hype because people are in line, line-sitters get hype because they’re… there. And the worst part is it’s going to work. It already has.
Image: iPad launch March 2012; Spencer Platt/Getty