This morning at 8am, the Apple iPhone 6 went on sale for the first time in the UK. By that time there had been a solid queue outside the doors of the London flagship store for three days, there were just shy of 300 people standing in line, and the average person had been there for two days to be among the first to get their hands on the new technology. But why?
Got to be first
Apple has this kind of reaction whenever it launches new phones, as the excitement builds and early adopters consider it a badge of pride to get the technology before anyone else. A survey of 100 people waiting in line this morning asked people why they were queuing today, and 41% said it was because they were "die-hard Apple fans".
Another 37% said they were waiting because they had missed out on pre-orders. Another popular answer was purely that they loved the atmosphere of this kind of queue - which is why 6% of them were there.
Stephen Ebbett, global director of Protect Your Bubble, pointed out that: "There were two major differences this year - the queue attracted fewer people, and began forming later, and a new queuing system meant those early birds first at the front of the queue on Wednesday were moved back for those who'd reserved places online in advance, much to their disappointment."
Front of the queue was Moey Shawash, 31, an advertising manager from T3 Magazine, who had flown over from Cape Town, South Africa and reserved his place in advance online.
Insurer, Protect Your Bubble, which carried out the survey, found that people were excited about the new technology and couldn't wait to try the new features. The 3D Touch technology was the most hotly-anticipated. Some 51% of people were hoping to stand out with their new phone, and impress people with a rose gold phone - while 20% were going to opt for grey, 18% for gold and 12% for silver.
Each person in the queue owned an average 3.8 Apple gadgets, and a fifth said they upgraded every time Apple brought out a new model. It's an impressive commitment to shiny newness - especially give that the 128 GB new iPhone6s costs £699 and the Plus costs £789. These phones were the most popular choice among people waiting in line, with 45% of people opting for an iPhone 6 and 27% of people queuing for the iPhone 6s.
This obsession with having the latest gadgets is arguably harmless, especially if people are happy to sell their old phone on, and save up each time for a new model. Given the enormous cost, however, it's worth asking whether so many people can really afford such an expensive upgrade every time a new phone comes out - and whether they really need one.
Of course, as well as those spending their hard-earned money, some were there to make money instead - some 10% planned to buy the new iPhones and quickly sell them on for a profit. Another 4% described themselves either as 'professional queuers' paid by others to wait in line, or were there to try and sell their place in the queue to the highest bidder.
There's a good chance that plenty of the others are also hoping the phones sell out, so they can sell them on for a quick profit. Some 29% of people in the queue planned to get the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus, and unless they were a massive fan of staying in touch, there's every chance they were hoping to sell on at least one of the phones to make their queuing pay.
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