Although Apple’s product announcement is still five days away (with the actual product release weeks after that), the famed line in front of the Apple Store has already formed at the company’s Fifth Avenue location. We stopped by to meet the folks already living full time in front of the iconic cube outside Central Park.
First in line is Moon Ray, a model and writer for Paste Magazine who’s there with her husband to promote an app called Video Medicine. (Ray’s husband, absent at the time of our visit, is a consultant for the company.) The app serves to quickly connect people with doctors over the Internet via a FaceTime-style video chat. The aim is to make medicine easily accessible for those in more remote regions. Video Medicine is sponsoring the couple as they brave the line, and you can watch a video on how its app works right here.
Immediately behind Ray is the young two-cousin team of Jonathan and Brian Ceballo. They sold their spots at the front of the line to the Rays for $1,250 apiece (Video Medicine picked up that tab). The Ceballos are line-sitting veterans who have been in front of the Fifth Avenue Apple Store for the last five major product launches. They are similarly sponsored by an electronics reseller called BuyBackWorld that is covering all their expenses – this mostly means they can eat all the food they want for free, but they also get their choice of new iPhone when the product officially launches.
In line behind the cousins is Jonah Wong, an international journeyman who’s lived in London, San Francisco, and Shenzhen, China. He now calls Hong Kong home and headed to New York City to wait in Apple’s line as a member of Ravpower’s global marketing team. The company makes external battery packs and gadget chargers, and it’s covering all Wong’s costs while he’s in front of the store.
We have yet to see the more classic die-hard Apple customers in line. Those there now are promoting various companies and seem to be largely treating the line-sitting experience as a job with small but agreeable perks. All of them are being compensated for their expenses, all of them have been promised a free iPhone at the end of their stationary pilgrimage.
Look for the line to grow like crazy when Apple makes a formal announcement on Sept. 9.