Sci-Tech

Apple buyers queue up weeks before launch of iPhone 6

September 07, 2014 03:57 PM
Jason and Moon Ray paid $2,500 to a duo to clinch the first two spots in the queue outside an Apple store in New York.

 WASHINGTON, Sept. 7: It is the Apple of many a gearhead's eye, but people are going to extraordinary lengths to snag the latest iPhone in ... where else? the Big Apple. 

Some 10 days before its purported release, a queue began to be formed in the city that never sleeps to grab the first retail sale of iPhone 6. Half dozen loyalists, publicists, rent-a-place professional que-bodies have already lined up in front of the Apple store, attracting the attention of TV crews, tourists, and tech-troopers too busy to line up but awaiting first look at the gizmo. 

But unhappy at losing out the first place to NYC locals, the Rays and their sponsors offered to buy the first two spots from the cousins, figuring that the first place position is key to PR. "I thought they were kidding around, so I just said $2,000," said Cruz, who is a music producer in his spare time. Video Medicine wrote the cousins two checks for $1250 each and the duo switched places with the couple. 



Apple has only announced it will be hosting a "special event" on September 9 without specifying details, but the general assumption is it will be releasing the next-generation iPhone 6, and possibly one or two other gadgets and apps, including iWatch and iWallet. The Apple website features a countdown to the date with a teaser that reads, "Wish We Could Say More." 

Even if Apple were to release iPhone 6 on Tuesday, it will be at least a week more before the gadget becomes available in retail stores. 

Not that it fazes cousins Joseph Cruz and Brian Ceballo, who are professional iPhone queists. They have waited in line for the new version of iPhone for the last five years; this time they turned up last Sunday, ten days before the Apple event, and at least two, possibly three weeks before a retail release. 

It's become a regular line of work after they discovered companies that were willing to sponsor them and pay them to advertise their product. This time their sponsors are BuyBackWorld, a NYC store that specializes in trade-ins of Apple products. 

Things got even better for the cousins during the week when their first and second place in the queue was "bought" by the husband and wife team of Jason and Moon Ray, who arrived from Jackson, Mississippi on Monday, a day after the cousins beat them to the top of the queue.

Sponsored by a new telemedicine mobile app, Video Medicine, their goal is to "raise awareness about America's lacking access to affordable health care," Moon Ray, a model, told the local media. 

But unhappy at losing out the first place to NYC locals, the Rays and their sponsors offered to buy the first two spots from the cousins, figuring that the first place position is key to PR. "I thought they were kidding around, so I just said $2,000," said Cruz, who is a music producer in his spare time. Video Medicine wrote the cousins two checks for $1250 each and the duo switched places with the couple. 

Which left Johan Wong, a genuine Applehead who flew in from Hong Kong later in the week, in fifth place. "It's not something normal people will do," he admitted to ABC News. "It's something we can check off our bucket list." 

The early birders are a happy family for now, watching each others' back. They use the bathrooms at the 24-hour Apple store, shower at a nearby gym, and keep busy listening to music and watch life go by. 

All for a piece of hysteria. 

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