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Experts: Apple Fans Wait in Line for the Sense of Community

By - Source: Market Watch | B 39 comments

Waiting in line for hours on end also reinforces a fan's decision to purchase a certain product.

The iPhone 5 caused record lines for Apple product launches, with eager fans queuing up for over a week to get their hands on the latest iDevice. However, is the real reason consumers are waiting in long lines a social one? Researches believe so.

MarketWatch contacted a few market researchers who provided a look into why Apple fans, or indeed any consumer, will wait for hours (or days/a week) when they can easily pre-order the device online and get it delivered to their doorstep.

Researchers say that consumers benefit from building their social activity such as making friends and boosting one's self-esteem.

"Shopping has become a collective event," consulting firm Hanft Projects' Adam Hanft said. Hanft added that when people witness the amount of eager shoppers standing in line along side them, it reassures them that their decision to buy the product in question is a correct one.

Seton Hall associate marketing professor Daniel Ladik said there's simply nothing wrong with consumers waiting outside and socializing. "It's a community thing," he said in reference to the queues outside Apple stores on launch day. "There's no other logic to it."

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Top Comments
  • 34 Hide
    santiagoanders , October 11, 2012 2:04 AM
    They are so desperate to belong that they stand in line to buy a trivial gadget. That's some iSheep.
  • 33 Hide
    Chairman Ray , October 11, 2012 2:08 AM
    "it reassures them that their decision to buy the product in question is a correct one"

    When I want to reassure myself that purchasing something is the correct decision, I read the specs before buying.
  • 29 Hide
    edogawa , October 11, 2012 2:07 AM
    Based on that photo, old people and the average joe\hipster buys an iphone? Am I far from the truth? It's pretty common for me to see non-tech savy people use iPhones.
Other Comments
    Display all 39 comments.
  • 34 Hide
    santiagoanders , October 11, 2012 2:04 AM
    They are so desperate to belong that they stand in line to buy a trivial gadget. That's some iSheep.
  • 29 Hide
    edogawa , October 11, 2012 2:07 AM
    Based on that photo, old people and the average joe\hipster buys an iphone? Am I far from the truth? It's pretty common for me to see non-tech savy people use iPhones.
  • 33 Hide
    Chairman Ray , October 11, 2012 2:08 AM
    "it reassures them that their decision to buy the product in question is a correct one"

    When I want to reassure myself that purchasing something is the correct decision, I read the specs before buying.
  • 23 Hide
    bllue , October 11, 2012 2:10 AM
    There's no logic to it because iSheep don't have any
  • 9 Hide
    dimar , October 11, 2012 2:12 AM
    This reminds me of people lining up for food during Soviet era :-)
    http://www.geardiary.com/2010/08/20/in-the-soviet-era-people-lined-up-for-bread-but-in-1990/
  • 8 Hide
    Blessedman , October 11, 2012 2:17 AM
    Tom please fix the comments, if i log in i lose my submitted comments? .... BLAH not typing it again but basically I called it Live Gorilla Forums. Apple didn't start this...
  • 12 Hide
    jhansonxi , October 11, 2012 2:33 AM
    Probably the same psychological basis for Black Friday lines. Thanks to BF deals on web stores I stopped that exercise.
  • 23 Hide
    Anonymous , October 11, 2012 2:42 AM
    Or cuz those loosers dont have a life lol.

    Heeeeey look at meeeeee!!!! im an aaapleeee sheeeeeep .......
  • 24 Hide
    CaedenV , October 11, 2012 2:48 AM
    maybe it is just my anti-social nature, but when I see a group of people all moving in the same direction I have the irresistible urge to go somewhere else. If everyone is moving towards something then it generally means that whatever they are looking for is probably already gone, or else they are an unthinking mob that will probably end up suffering from groupthink and cause some form of harm in the process.
  • 14 Hide
    bak0n , October 11, 2012 2:51 AM
    This just in. 99% protest's noticed a 99% decrease in protestors during the 2 days prior to the release of (insert Apple product release here).
  • 17 Hide
    madjimms , October 11, 2012 3:08 AM
    I think I'll buy several thousand & burn them in front of these folks. Anyone want to watch?
  • 14 Hide
    svdb , October 11, 2012 3:23 AM
    I was looking for something funny to say, but in fact this is just sad...
  • 13 Hide
    hoofhearted , October 11, 2012 3:26 AM
    loser line

    or should I say iLosers
  • 2 Hide
    Chairman Ray , October 11, 2012 3:30 AM
    On a more constructive note, I can totally understand the sense of community. The reason why I like going to a game store for midnight releases instead of downloading it online is because I like meeting other people who enjoy the same games as I do. However I usually go about half an hour or fifteen minutes before midnight, and not 8 days early...
  • 10 Hide
    memadmax , October 11, 2012 3:32 AM
    caedenvmaybe it is just my anti-social nature, but when I see a group of people all moving in the same direction I have the irresistible urge to go somewhere else. If everyone is moving towards something then it generally means that whatever they are looking for is probably already gone, or else they are an unthinking mob that will probably end up suffering from groupthink and cause some form of harm in the process.


    +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1
  • 8 Hide
    chrismar1000000 , October 11, 2012 3:39 AM
    In case anyone missed it
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BMsLArefSOw
  • 15 Hide
    stingstang , October 11, 2012 3:58 AM
    Sense of community? They spend that whole time texting on their iPhones!
  • 9 Hide
    Someone Somewhere , October 11, 2012 5:00 AM
    chairman ray"it reassures them that their decision to buy the product in question is a correct one"When I want to reassure myself that purchasing something is the correct decision, I read the specs before buying.


    It's the idea that x million people can't be wrong. Easily debunked by the idea that earth is flat.
  • 3 Hide
    ushyperion , October 11, 2012 6:47 AM
    Ofcourse there are big lines with people.

    People who buy Crapple products can't purchase a car or internet.
  • 3 Hide
    Anonymous , October 11, 2012 7:02 AM
    Maybe they should just be know by their official name iDiots
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