As expected, the hamsters lined up to spin the wheel, thousands of them, as consumers (the term "people" doesn't really enter the equation) sat for days waiting to buy the iPhone, a product they have been told to buy for months now. Indeed, Apple really has developed their own special kind of hamster, one who will do almost anything to get their scratchy little claws on the latest sparkling iToy. I'm kind of surprised Apple doesn't try putting actual giant hamster wheels outside their stores for these new product events, just to see if the iDiots will take a turn. If Apples tells them too, though, you know they would.
Jobs' revitalization of the Apple brand has been remarkable and the lines outside Apple stores are, if anything, a testament to that. Of course, this wouldn't be possible -- certainly not after this long -- if the products weren't actually good.
But what is interesting is the derivative market that has developed from these events and others like them, such as Play Station and Xbox releases. For we now see a certain population of line dwellers who are their selling their services as ... line dwellers. Others stand in line early in order to be able to sell their spot in that line, a line which merely provides potential to buy the product. For there is no guarantee one will actually get to buy the toy.
Then there are the people who were being paid to wait in line for others. Dan Zabar, a 23-year-old production assistant for a company that produces television commercials in New York, was making about $150 to wait all day in line for his boss. Others got in line early to try to sell their spots. Along 58th Street, where the line for the Fifth Avenue store had spilled over, one young man was offering his place for $160 in the early afternoon. By late afternoon, he had raised the price to $180.Of all the nonsensical hyper-lunacy displayed in these events, I actually like this. People making money off of other people making money off of people who have been told to buy something. A derivative market right on the street corner.