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

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."

  • santiagoanders
    They are so desperate to belong that they stand in line to buy a trivial gadget. That's some iSheep.
    Reply
  • edogawa
    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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • bllue
    There's no logic to it because iSheep don't have any
    Reply
  • dimar
    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/
    Reply
  • Blessedman
    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...
    Reply
  • jhansonxi
    Probably the same psychological basis for Black Friday lines. Thanks to BF deals on web stores I stopped that exercise.
    Reply
  • Or cuz those loosers dont have a life lol.

    Heeeeey look at meeeeee!!!! im an aaapleeee sheeeeeep .......
    Reply
  • CaedenV
    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.
    Reply
  • bak0n
    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).
    Reply