Like others have said, it's a cult. It's the type of lemming behavior you expect from cult members.
Did you check out how many articles EE Times has, gushing in one way or another over the iPhone5? And what do you call that?
Apple is laughing all the way to the bank, of course. You can't blame them.
I won't buy an iPhone 5, however I did invest in Apple stock a few weeks ago, so let the lines begin. Thank you to all of the Apple fanboys that stand in line today to buy the iPhone 5, my portfolio is grateful.
I don't mind telling my kids that I waited in lines for many things, such as rock concerts and amusement park rides, but I will never say I waited in line for a phone. If I really want one, I can wait a week when I can easily purchase it without the line. :)
It's a cult thing, the Apple company is not just like any other electronic manufacturing company like Samsung,HP,Intel, etc. It(S.Jobs) has worked hard over many decades to keep it exclusive and niche though that distinction is blurring rapidly. With competitors breathing down their necks in looks and performance this behaviour will subside over the years but I am afraid will not completely go away. Because, as I said it's a cult thing.
Great post, Jim. I think you make a lot of really good points (and ask a lot of really great questions). The short answer is that people just can't wait to get their hands on the phone, but as you point out, that's not really it.
I'm still processing the experience I had standing outside of the Yerba Buena Center while the iPhone 5 launch was going on. It was something of a circus type atmosphere. I'd say there were close to 200 people out there. A lot of them were journalists doing their job covering the launch. But many were just regular folks who came by to be part of the cultural happening. I kept thinking, "Really, it's just a phone, and almost surely it is not THAT different from the current one." Explaining the spell that Apple product launches casts is, I'm afraid, beyond me.