If You're In An iPhone Queue, Read This: It's Time To Give Back

Today is iPhone Day, and it's massive. We're in the calm before the storm right now: people are setting up tents huddling under blankets and camping out under the city lights and the night sky. You might be one of these people, eagerly waiting the rapturous applause of Apple staff as you wake up tomorrow.

Apple urges us all to "think differently", and this iPhone Day, we want you to do the same thing: it's time to give back and help those who sleep on our nation's streets every single night.

Australia plays host to over 105,000 homeless people right now. That means on any given night around our country, around one in 200 Australians is homeless. In a nation of over 23 million, that's a national disgrace.

Here's another fact. If you're camping outside the Sydney Apple Store on George Street waiting to buy a shiny new iPhone tomorrow morning, you share a block with a makeshift shelter on the corner of George and Market Streets that has been there for almost a decade. The person inside this shelter is always asking for donations and anything people can spare for everything from food through to vital medicine. The problem is closer than you think.

Tonight in Sydney the temperature (in Spring) looks set to drop to 9 degrees Celsius. In Melbourne, it's going to be colder at 5 degrees with expected showers. You can rug up with your blanket and tent, but others might not be able to.

While you might think that it's a novelty to camp out on a city street for one night, for thousands of people across our nation it's a crushing reality that they experience every single night.

So this iPhone Day, we'd urge you to think about our nation's homeless and the ones less fortunate than you. We're not saying this to bum you out before tomorrow's launch: we're saying it because we believe that if every single person in line tonight for the iPhone donated what they could to helping their city's homeless population, it might go some way to shrinking it, even by just a little.

It's easy to help, too. Mission Australia runs a van service called Missionbeat that goes around the city helping those who need it, offering food, shelter, medical care and at the very worst if people can't be sheltered, a blanket to keep warm. The Mission team do great work, but they need our help. If you're picking up an iPhone at 8am tomorrow morning, perhaps use it to call up Mission and organise a time to drop off some blankets to help them out.

If you don't want to go and donate a blanket to Mission, head over to their website while you wait in line and make a monetary donation. Depending on how close you are to the front of the queue, you can use the Apple Store's free Wi-Fi network if you're worried about the data costs.

Even if you donate just $10 -- that's less than one per cent of what a 128GB iPhone 6 costs -- it can go towards helping someone out. Donate whatever you can to help combat homelessness and support those sleeping rough.

You can donate to Mission Australia by following this link.

Note: There are many reasons why someone can end up homeless. Please join us in the spirit of thinking of others. We will immediately delete any mean-spirited comments.



    Good idea Luke. I'm sure all those who can afford a brand spanking new Iphone can afford 10 bucks.

    Fantastic idea! Gizmodo should've contacted Apple Australia and seen if they could set up a blanket and cash donation box at the Apple stores for tomorrow morning.

      I'm actually kicking myself that it took me until tonight to think of this piece, Sam. We're going to try harder to raise awareness for future launches going forward.

        yeah do it. id happily contribute.....but i dont wanna line up.

    People wittingly waiting for a piece of technology shows everything that's wrong with this wonderful country in a nutshell - the total apathy of those with the time and money to do such things. What a shamefur dispray.

      If you can't appreciate the early adopter mentality than you're on the wrong site brah

        Mate. There's nothing 'early' about the iPhone 6 compared to the competition. Good luck to you iFans though, it's about time you got decent sized screens. I hope you enjoy your new phones. Anyone who camps out though should be shipped off to the local laughing Academy.

          Why decry some people a bit of fun and an excuse to camp out for a night.
          I personally wouldn't do it, but I think for a lot of people it is more just for the fun of it than anything else.
          Sure they might also want a phone that is thinner, has 128GB and a slew of other stuff, but it is also for the adventure. I'm not going to piss on someone just because they camp out for one night instead of sitting at home watching TV or commenting on tech blogs at 5:30 in the morning.

          Last edited 19/09/14 10:12 am

          what the hell is a laughing academy? sounds like somewhere you go to learn how to laugh.

            Is the academy laughing or the people in it? Is it like the wailing wall?

          haha I have an S4, just giving marty a revving for his douchey comment. It's just a bit of harmless excitement, they're not hurting anyone.

        That's an odd thing to say. There's a difference between early adoption and lining up for a midnight launch (what I recently referred to as consumer whoring) or preordering. There are a lot of tech and gaming commentators and personalities that criticise day 1 sales and preorders as generally harmful.

        The smart thing to do with any product, whether it's software or hardware, is to wait until a decent number of independent reviews are out to get an idea of the real pros and cons of the product sans marketing hype.

          Hey I definitely agree with that, but as Poita mentioned for some its about the fun of camping out etc. Like the old days when you'd camp out for concert tickets, it was almost as much of an adventure as going to the show it self, you met people interested in the same stuff as you and was always a fun night. Maybe not logical to purchase something sight unseen, but (and consider I'm not an iPhone user) love em or hate em you can still be fairly confident its going to be a premium smartphone that does what its meant to.

        Lining up for a phone that's in it's 6th generation and just catching up to the competition in most respects is the definition of "early adopter" mentality?

        Yeah... nah... definition of Apple fanboyism maybe.

          His comment is still douchey, really that's what's wrong with our country? Like his time is being used so much more productively?

            No more douchey than yours.
            It may not be everything that's wrong with the country, but the mentality of "I must have the newest of the new no matter what" is vapid consumerism at it's worst. It's a symptom of a culture that is completely oblivious to just how great things are and how quickly things could be a whole lot worse. You're literally lining up to waste a lot of money on something that is slightly better than something you already have... which still works like it did the day you bought it... 6 months ago.
            If you're replacing say, a 4 that barely works because iOS 7 crippled it then fair enough, but are they the people who are lining up? I highly doubt it. They're the people who lined up for the 5S. And the 5. And the 4S.

              Can't argue with anything you're saying there and I'm certainly not in the line for one myself, I usually buy last years model of a phone when they have cheap outright deals and keep them until they're close to unusable.

              But that aside, everyone needs a hobby, not like I'm sending all my spare hard earned cash to charity. Most of us spend too much on something we enjoy, whether its eating out, cars, electronics, clothes, still the same vapid consumerism.

              I think a bigger problem with this country is our judgemental nature, our constant complaining and belittling of our fellow Aussies, let people do what makes them happy. If you work hard and spending a night in a line and $1000 on a new device is going to put a smile on your face, what's wrong with that?

              There's also a lot of people in line being paid by wealthy Australians to get a phone for them. Again, what's wrong with giving $3-400 you can easily afford to someone less fortunate than you so you can get something you really want and have worked for?

                There's nothing wrong with all of that. As long as there's a solid foundation of "Man I'm lucky to be able to do this." Which, I get the feeling, is seriously lacking these days. Everyone feels entitled. "I deserve to be in this line because I've 'worked hard' for it." When, in actual fact, they've probably been overpaid for the little work they've actually done because they're lucky enough to live in a country where that's possible. They're not labouring for 12 hour days to get $15k a year...

                I certainly don't work as hard as my pay packet would suggest. There may be certain times of the year when I'm here 2 hours after knock off, but it's rare.

    Nice piece Luke. First of it's kind that I've seen on a tech site.

    Is the idea original? If so, even more kudos.

    I'm not sure what to think of that but my friend is paying one of these homeless guys to sit in line for him. They are on the street anyway - he is giving him $20 now and $50 later to wait out front for past two days and is now first in line. Ethics? Not sure the guy gets money I guess for doing what he does anyway. Thoughts?

    Nice article Luke, it got a donation out of me - good work on bringing awareness to this!

    Hmm, good idea Luke. Maybe you should have taken it a little further....

    Well played!

    Brilliant idea. Homelessness is often over-looked in Australia and thought to be more of an American problem, but it is very real here.

    Oh, and I nearly left the thread without making a donation, just noticed the link in time!

    Yep, I donated $50. Mission Australia is well worth supporting, they do some amazing work.

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