Paid to iPad queue, and may not even be first

Image: Apple.
One man not queuing for a new iPad.

I walked past the Apple store yesterday and was interested to see there was someone camped out, already first in line for the new iPad. He’s keen, I thought to myself and considered taking a picture to post here. I didn’t only because the photogenic line between the guy sitting smoking while camped in a corner outside the Apple store and the homeless gentleman round the corner was not a big one.

It turns out, though, that there was a significant difference. The man in the Apple queue was not a fanboy, but someone being paid to do the queuing so that his sponsor could both get the first iPad and garner some free publicity via the t-shirt the intrepid queue-er is required to wear. I guess the addition of the t-shirt makes the $900-odd being paid for five days of queuing a business expense or a tax write-off. Otherwise that’s an expensive and slightly ugly way to get the first iPad. It’s one thing to put yourself on the line and queue up in the sun and rain, that’s almost a social event. But paying someone else; that’s making me wince.

Apple has confirmed, by the way, that the iPad will be on sale from 8am tomorrow – so Australians will get their just-the-right-side-of-the-date-line hands on it first in the world. It appears that the Telstra shop may even start selling the New iPad earlier than that. And wont that make the whole paid-for-queuing thing a waste of time!

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