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."