Lines for iPhones – Really?

June 24, 2010 by  
Filed under Fools of Finance

People are lined up at Apple stores to buy the latest and greatest iPhone. Really?

Are these gadget addicts unemployed? Calling in sick for a job that ranks below cell phones in importance?

What is going on with out of control consumerism in this country? Will the Apple fanboys and girls walk out of the store taking HD videos of each other while chanting the name of their Great Leader Manipulator, Steve Jobs?

I am eager to learn how much more money AT&T will make selling bandwidth to these data-sucking phones.  Maybe there’s an app for that already.

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15 Responses to “Lines for iPhones – Really?”
  1. andyg8180 says:

    I pre-ordered mine. no line for me :-)… But i will say one thing, i haven’t bought a phone and have been out of contract for 5+ years so it was time.

    Did my old phone still make calls? – Yes
    Did i NEED to buy a new phone? – No
    Did i pay it with credit? – No, credit card to get points, made payment immediately
    Can i afford the extra money for data and not kick myself in the morning? – Yes
    Am i a “new phone every contract or earlier” kind of consumer? – Nope, 5+ years on the same contract.
    If there wasn’t a pre-order program would i wait in line? – HELL no. There will be a steady stream next week. (per Steve Jobs)

    So in general, many people should be asking themselves the same exact questions. Im comfortable making the purchase. Others, well, i cant speak for them, but i will guarantee theres going to be a lot of Credit Card denials today lol

  2. Joe P. says:

    To me the lines are insane, unless you really have nothing better to do with your time – four hours of a good technical person’s time are worth as much as the phone’s upfront costs. When I bought mine last year, I ordered online and just waited for the mail.

    But people simply have no desire to wait for anything anymore. This is not iPhone-exclusive, it is true of most technological gadgets. If a new video game console is released, you can expect lines around the block, and not only from teenagers and college students. (The Wii was known for being “scalped” on auction sites at first release.) Any movie blockbuster that is based on some known franchise (and therefore has a fanbase built-in) will have massive lines for the opening. The same thing happens every Black Friday, and it seems to be getting worse year by year. People get their fulfillment from things instead of relationships, and we are suffering for it.

    I’ve always thought the iPhone itself was useful, although it does interact with Net addiction in unhealthy ways (much like any computer, except you carry it). It’s less useful now than I thought it would be, but still replaces several things I would carry (phone, iPod, laptop sometimes) and at least two that I should (appointment calendar and notebook – you know, the pen-and-paper kind).

  3. andyg8180 says:

    to be fair, waiting in line is a way of getting out and meeting people… People with similar interests meeting up to enjoy a product together, man, its what people did befoer the internet existed lol…

  4. morrison says:

    OMG! You have to stop it! Complaining, that is. Apple Inc is the greatest American company ever and Steve Jobs is the greatest American entrepreneur of all time. Stop it!

    Back in 1998, when the WSJ only gave Apple Computer 3 more weeks to be in business, I bought 50 shares @$13 each for $650. Today, those 50 shares have split into 200 shares and are worth $54,200. And I then proceeded to become and Apple Computer consultant in 1998.

    Why? Because I believed in the company AND Steve Jobs!!!! They are the last American heroes. To me, anyway.

    I think it’s great and wonderful that people are waiting in line for any of Apple’s products. They did back in the 1990’s and they are doing it now. Because die-hard Apple fans knows Jobs stuff is great. Against all the naysayers, Apple has now soared past Microsoft.

    Please refrain from your negativity towards Apple Inc. I only wish them the best in life. It will be a sad day in American history if and when Steve Jobs is no longer with us. It will be a tragic loss to innovation, technology and the true, American entrepreneur spirit.

    • I admire Apple innovations and Apple/Jobs for the way in which they have convinced certain consumers to become Apple zombies, buying everything they are told, because it is “Apple.” I have represented businesses who are Apple suppliers. Apple abuses its vendors terribly and in that respect is no different from Walmart. I have personally used Apple technology and in my opinion as a user it is not worth the extra cost. My wife’s iPhone is a terrible phone and her grossly over-priced iMac looks great but in operation is a giant piece of crap. As the saying goes, better technology through marketing.

  5. morrison says:

    When I worked as an Apple consultant, I used to hear these words all the time from die hard Microsoft users:

    “I have personally used Apple technology and in my opinion as a user it is not worth the extra cost. My wife’s iPhone is a terrible phone and her grossly over-priced iMac looks great but in operation is a giant piece of crap.”

    From a logical standpoint, if the iPhone and iMac really were crap, no Apple fan would realistically keep buying the stuff, year after year, so your logic doesn’t hold. Young adults today aren’t stupid.

    As to Apple’s treatment of vendors and suppliers, Apple is despicable. Same goes to how they treated all their resellers and partners. Where are they now? Many of them, I am certain filed bankruptcy and slowly faded away. Just like Apple played/wanted them to.

    If you get down to the nitty gritty on most businesses or large corporations, there’s a lot of unscrupulous behavior. You can say that about anything. A business. A government. Etc. Etc. They all suck. What can I tell you?

    I just admire Steve Jobs and the work he has accomplished with Apple and Pixar. The Apple products are inventive, fascinating and mind blowing. And I am sure that the Pixar movies brought happiness to many a child’s eyes (and tons of marketing, right?). That’s just how it is. More of the ends justifying the means.

    Loosen up, man. It’s just a gadget.

    Do I own every Apple product in sight? Absolutely not. My iMac is almost 6 years old. My iPod was a gift to me a few years back. I do not own an iPhone but will be getting my daughter’s when she trades it in in October. People have the right to do whatever they want to. We don’t have to understand it or deem it logical. Apple stuff is cool.

    When I think about all the records I used to own as a kid, then all the cassettes, then tapes and then all the massive amounts of music CD’s that cluttered up my bedroom….to think that now, 1000’s of these songs can be downloaded onto my tiny, little iPod, I find that amazing. I just have to log onto iTunes and purchase any song in the world I want from the comfort of my computer, just never ceases to amaze me. If you don’t want to spend any money, iTunes is free and you can hear any radio station from anywhere in the world instantly. Same goes for podcasts and movies and TV shows.

    Sorry dude. The technology is just fascinating.

    Maybe if you and your wife knew how to work a Mac, you’d understand. (Macs are waaay easier than PC’s) Apple stores have free Genius Bars. Maybe you should drop by for a lesson. Or just hang out in the Apple store. You may just lighten up and get with the program. (psssssst! you don’t have to spend any money either)

    • Macs are waaaaay easier for some people, many of whom don’t understand how to work anything else. Macs are designed for those people. Unfortunately, my wife has spent hours with Apple “geniuses” on the phone and at the really cool and hip genius bar. Two hard drives, lost data, new OS install, and many geniuses later, her iMac is still a piece of crap. I’m waiting for it to blow up so I can buy her a Windows 7 machine that works at 1/3 the price. My son’s $29 phone misses fewer calls than her iPhone (both AT&T). I don’t care what others’ experiences are. These are our experiences.

      People – young and old – who wait in line to buy a phone may not be stupid but they aren’t right in the head. Apple loves those people.

  6. MasterPo says:

    Kinda reminds me of the lines to get Windows 95! 😛

  7. morrison says:

    “Macs are waaaaay easier for some people, many of whom don’t understand how to work anything else. Macs are designed for those people. Unfortunately, my wife has spent hours with Apple “geniuses” on the phone and at the really cool and hip genius bar. Two hard drives, lost data, new OS install, and many geniuses later, her iMac is still a piece of crap.”

    So, what are you saying? Macs are for people who don’t know how to work anything or don’t understand anything, yet your wife can’t get her iMac to work? What does that make your wife? And her iPhone doesn’t work either.


    I think you just insulted your wife. Big time.

    • Rick Beagle says:

      I am pretty sure there are people out there who would prefer to focus on their lives and their careers rather than master the arts of technology. If memory serves, that is the entire point of the MAC over the PC?

      I certainly do not know Mrs. TML, but I suspect that claims of simplicity and the “warm” designs encouraged her buying decision. It is unfortunate that the product did not match her needs or desires, but that in no way should call into question anyones’ intelligence, skills, or even sanity.

      Nevertheless, the comments by TML continue to parallel my mantra on the subject, avoid the hype get what you need. If you can afford the toys, then great, they make great techno fashion accessories, and I hope you enjoy them. Just don’t count on them for any heavy lifting….


  8. Colonel(ret)Wes says:

    +1, our family has never paid one dime in cell phone contracts, most likely never will..wife buys minutes for a reconditioned cell phone every 90 days for my wife (have never owned a cell phone–had to use a BB for last 8 yrs of
    Army service provided by Army–BB retired Jan 09 when I did :)). Mr. GoTo is laser spot on w/regards to SJ, esp considering the collusion, manipulation the Big Five Agency publishers (xcept randomhouse)have had on prices of ebooks–fortunately,T exas Attorney General is seriously looking into improprer/illegal price fixing by SJ/Apple and the Big 5.

  9. MasterPo says:

    I’m staying clear of the iphone for now for 2 reasons:

    1) It doesn’t run on the Verizon network yet.

    2) All those apps would be such a time-sink for me. 😉

    99% of what I do with a phone is text anyway.

  10. kitty says:

    I am with Morrison here. Apple gives employment to a lot of people, so does AT&T, these stocks in many funds in our retirement accounts. I am sure TML owns at least some shares of Apple via index funds. So why complain? More people buy stuff, economy grows. Some people like gadgets, others like something else.

    As to iPhone, I actually kind of regret getting a simple cell phone on a 2 year contract instead of buying an iPhone. I drive my mother to NYC often these days as she is part of a clinical trial in Sloan-Kettering. Being able to check traffic on the internet and switch to a different route would’ve saved time and stress big time — it can make a difference between a one or one an a half hour drive and three hours drive. Radio is just not quick enough as I need to make a decision very quickly. I am sure there are other useful applications there.

    • Rick Beagle says:


      I see you subscribe to the Thomas Tusser’s guide to investment prosperity. It could be argued -I suppose- that Thomas Tusser’s famouse quote is truly a tenet of our capitalistic society.

      Rick Beagle

  11. Todd Metheny says:

    I think the lines are ridiculous, too. There will be another craze a year from now. Another one after that. I do think early adopters play an important role in the consumer business, though. They test the technology. They tell people what they think. It trickles down to people like us – we make decisions based on information passed down from the early adopters. I’m glad there are people out there that pay extra to be first in line. In won’t ever be me, but I benefit from it, just the same.

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