So the past 5 years I have upgraded to the new iPhone. This year I arrived earlier at the Apple Store than many years prior. I do not pre-order as I enjoy the event, speaking with fellow Apple Fans.
As I walked into the mall entrance at 4:30 am I knew something was not right. In all the past years the line for an event goes down the Apple store wall and then wraps down a cove area where there are some smaller shops. Usually this area can hold 300 or so people. Not this year the line wrapped down the main artery of the mall. The difference is now there is one long line that is broken by segments for the crosswalks from one side of the mall to the other.
This created an issue for security as the line now spanned ⅓ of the mall artery instead of all being in a cove. This also made the Media with their video camera's have to traverse the mall looking for a story.
The next thing I noticed was all the Asian's which has been increasing each year. I would say almost half the line was composed of Asians. I have nothing against Asians. What this signaled to me was that this group and I remember many of them are here to buy phones and ship them to China where the iPhone 6 is not yet released.
You can't blame the NYC contingent as I call them, because they have driven up from NYC which is about a 2hr drive. Why the group drives up is that the NYC Apple stores lines are 12 blocks. This group comes up early the day before the release and they are guaranteed a phone. In NYC people started lining up two weeks ago.
How much money can be made? Here is what I am finding either on news stories or my conversations with the NYC contingent. An iPhone 6 will cost $600-$800 Unlocked. That same phone will go for $2600 to $3600 in China/Hong Kong. Not bad, each person can get 2 If there are there is a group of 100 individuals getting phones that is 200 phones. Average the cost of the phones at $14,000, now the average sale value of $3,000 per phone with 200 they make gross $600,000. Now the individuals in the store are not making the money but some so the final profit will erode due to expenses, but that potential profit is a motivator.
I roughly counted the people in line and out of the 300 individuals in front of me, half had the NYC contingency look to them. I left the mall when they announced the 6+ was out.
Right before the announcement I saw a group of officers taking out some individuals who were out of control.
Not sure if I will go to the Apple store anymore for events. I like the atmosphere but this last trip is convincing me it is not worth it anymore. The system has been coopted for export with good incentives, the mall made a mistake and I have never seen the police having to arrest people in line before.