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What Causes Such Hysteria: Long Lines For New Technology

     
1:22 pm on Jun 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Queues For New Technology [news.bbc.co.uk]
More than a thousand people have queued outside Apple's flagship London store on launch day of the iPhone 4.



It's only a new phone, which will be available the day after, and the day after that.

What is it that drives some to such hysteria?
1:50 pm on June 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Secksual frustration I suspect.

Really though, some adults - a lot of them - have tech as a hobby/interest. So they show some interest in the latest gadget.

You get the same thing when turkey fryers go on sale at Bass Pro Shops.
1:55 pm on June 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Apple knows how to product launch.

buzz
anticipation
scarsity

That on top of a user base that is almost brainwashed, they've done some slick marketing more then anything.
4:30 pm on June 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

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This goes beyond technology, as wheel pointed out. The year was 1996 and Tickle Me Elmo had such a high demand, coupled with short supply - the result was mass insanity. There were fights, long lines, and prices in the thousands for a $30.00 toy.

What Causes Such Hysteria
I'm no expert on the subject so anything I offer is my own opinion. These people suffer greatly from inadequacies in other areas of their life and so rushing out to be the first (or in the first wave) is their way of masking the real problem. They become 'cool'. It is a means to rationalize normalcy in an otherwise unbalanced existence.
4:35 pm on June 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

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>You get the same thing when turkey fryers go on sale at Bass Pro Shops.

LOL

I can imagine it now.

There's Scandinavian furniture outfit that generates the same hysteria evey time they open a new store. I don't get that one, either.

>brainwashed

I think that's it. They are whipped up into a frenzy, like a lynch mob.

I can think of plenty of far more important things to do than to join a long line outside a store.
4:58 pm on June 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Apple's marketing has gotten to the point now that I chuckle inside every time I see someone with an iPhone. It seems like the lamest possible excuse for "cool" I've ever seen. (Besides the fact that it's really huge and clunky for a phone - I'd hate to lug that around everywhere.)

Apple-free here, and hopefully will always be so.
5:35 pm on June 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Secksual frustration


You got it, I'm so frustrated with my Secks I'm about to t'row them all out the window and get me one'a dem iPhones . . . .

a user base that is almost brainwashed


LOL . . . ouch! :-)

grandpa hit it, I think, along with "first kid on the block" and "keeping up with the jones'es." Most of society is far too obsessed with "things," judging others by the "things" they own and inherently gather "things" to avoid being judged. It's not until you get rid of all your "things" that you realize what's really important. Everyone *says* this, but few mean it, practicing it is a whole different story.
6:05 pm on June 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Oh dear
[webmasterworld.com...]

I think there might be an opportunity for new lines as they bring their phones back to the stores.
6:10 pm on June 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

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It's just a cult movement.

It's like a bad movie - iNvasion of the iBody Snatchers.

If you're not there in line you're not one of 'them' and they can tell you're an outsider anyway because your devices have more than one button.

I'm just waiting for them to launch iKoolaid and see how many drink it.
7:18 pm on June 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Its not a cult movement, and its not about apple. Its about the total immersion of our culture in the act of shopping.
One of the only ways people can exert their power these days, and influence is with their pocketbooks. So they do. I think its better than waiting outside a stadium to see a football (and I don't mean soccer) team. Depends upon where you want to throw your love.
8:55 pm on June 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Private Eye has had an excellent iBores strip running for a few issues now.
9:49 pm on June 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

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The year was 1996 and Tickle Me Elmo had such a high demand...

Good example.

They marketed and sold friggin' pet rocks successfully for crying out loud.

What's that tell you?

If it were me it tells me my marketing team is on the ball and deserves a nice bonus. I mean rocks? Give me a break.
9:51 pm on June 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I think it's simply a matter of everybody else is gonna get one so I want one too. Status.

Among the young and impressionable this is important to maintain.
10:22 pm on June 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Used to be that in eastern block countries line ups at shops for a product were a common sight. Only difference I guess is that people joined the line not knowing what they were actually there for but no doubt it was an sudden availability of an item of necessity that was in scarce supply. But as engine says, in these tech products cases it will be "available the day after, and the day after that", so really I don't understand it either.
2:30 am on June 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

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One of the only ways people can exert their power these days, and influence is with their pocketbooks.


There's no power or influence in becoming one of a big me-too herd standing in line to buy a shiny trinket.

Power and influence are gained from individualism, being apart from the herd, not just another bleating iSheep being sold flawed gear [webmasterworld.com].
5:19 pm on June 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Was ripping through the channels this AM and caught some elderly gent in an outdoor space playing some keyboard app on his iPad. He was singing a song along with it, pretty funny, but what stuck out in my mind was (paraphrased:)

You'd think when we spend all this cash
It at least would come with Flash


Interesting viewpoint from an iPad owner. :-)
6:11 pm on June 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I think some of it also is fueled by profiteers looking to turn a quick buck. When Xbox 360 hit our city there were people camping out for 2 days in front of BestBuy in order to be first in line. Our newspaper ran an article on it. The majority of the camp-out people they interviewed weren't buying them for themselves, but for resale on ebay or some other auction network. 400 dollar units went for 1,500 - 2,000.

I'd camp out on concrete for 2 days for 1,100 bucks profit. Not a problem.

That's probably not the case here but speaking of product hysteria in general....
7:53 pm on June 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

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The sentiment is well documented in reportage like this: [theonion.com...]

"I'll buy almost anything as long as it is shiny and it's made by Apple" :)
10:07 pm on June 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

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i walked by a huge line downtown and asked a bunch of people "what are you in line for?"

"the new iPhone"

"the new what?"

[a look of angry bewilderment overcomes the face]
7:15 pm on June 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

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^ ahaha thats great!
8:42 pm on June 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

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The sentiment is well documented in reportage like this: [theonion.com...]


One of The Onion's best, for sure - "It remains to be seen if Apple's latest invention will catch on in the real world where people actually have to do work instead of just d**king around."

Almost as good as The Onion's commercial for Despondex, medication for cheerfully annoying people.