It has almost been ten years since the launch of the first iPhone. It was first announced in January of 2007, and nobody foresaw the impact it would make on the market. We are guessing that not even Steve Jobs himself expected to reap such enormous results. Ten years later as we are waiting for the annual 10th-anniversary edition of the phone, we want to go back and look at the phone’s first launch and the trouble it caused.
On June 29, 2017, there were a ridiculous amount of places in Singapore where people would round up resulting into a long queue in each location. Thousands of fanatic Apple fans stayed outside and camped for a few nights in front of Telco stores, and other retails so that they would have the chance to buy the more than thousand dollars worth device. While that is not the first time consumers have swarmed a retail store in the Singapore, it has certainly been helpful to now have a proper queue management system. Imagine having to deal with hundreds of people that want to enter a place without a queuing system; it would be a disaster on many levels, in some cases, even leading to injuries or worse.
The iPhone changed the game for mobile devices the second it hit the market. It was taken with scepticism by a lot of people in the beginning as it is with any new technology which drops on the mass production market. Its price initially was also quite a heavy one, beginning at 800 SGD. It was not before the iPhone 3Gs hit the market with a much competitive price that Apple really ran over their competition and took a huge chunk of the market. The easy to use, user-friendly user interface with integrated, quite comprehensive software provided the most enjoyable end user experience a customer could imagine and hope for. But is that really the reason for the long queue in front of Telco stores every time they launch a new product?
While there are hundreds of people during the launch day for each of their devices, that is not the case 40 hours prior to that. There aren’t many people that would put through the two or three days wait in front a certain location, camping without even being able to go to the toilet in some cases, fearing that you would lose your position in the queue. In fact, many of those people are just “saving” the spot for someone else, who wants to be within the first people to enter the store and buy the product for a different purpose. So there are many people that camp outside just so they could get paid, in some cases even thousands of dollars to save the spot for someone else.
It is indeed quite a spectacular observation how each spot closer to the first gets paid heavily more than the one before. And thanks to the queue management systems we are not observing injuries when the stores actually do open.