As expected, the Apple loyal began gathering outside stores to purchase the new iPhone 5. The real question is, why? This is a device that will likely be upstaged by any number of devices in coming months.
Even if you are a brand loyalist, you know the device will be sold for at least the next year before it is upstaged by a newer Apple product. In addition, the device can be pre-ordered online or purchased not only from Apple, but a plethora of wireless carriers.
So, what compels consumers to mass outside retail stores to purchase an electronic device?
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Unlike Black Friday, consumers will not benefit from a lower than normal price. Unlike an artistic performance, there is no unique experience. Unlike an Enzo Ferrari, there are not a limited number of products available. Unlike a Sotheby's auction, these are not priceless treasures. And unlike classic movies from Disney, these are not available for a limited engagement. So why in the world are some consumers so fanatic about the release of a new electronic device when we live in a connected society filled with electronic devices?
Unfortunately, this says more about our society than the products or companies reflected by the phenomena, and I don’t limit this to just Apple. In a world where global weather, energy, food, and water all threaten the fabric of our society and future existence, this demonstrates a misplaced value on objects. Just image what could be accomplished if the much energy, time, and resources could be dedicated to something better.