iPhone X craze: Jams in downtown Moscow, $5K to be first to get new gadget
Crowds started gathering outside one of Apple’s premium reseller stores in central Moscow several days before the new iPhone X officially hit the shelves on Friday. Even traffic was disrupted on one of the main streets in the capital as both iPhone-savvy customers and profiteers got caught up in the hype surrounding the release.
Москва, наши дни: Очередь за Iphone X— Benjamin (@NataydoFudzyro) November 1, 2017
Продажа начнется только в пятницу... pic.twitter.com/Mi4LD8OTnk
People spent days and nights in the doorway of ReStore shop, afraid of losing their place in the line to buy the precious gadget. Some came well prepared for the long wait - bringing chairs, blankets and hot tea.
Those who turned up in the wee hours of Thursday found themselves only in 187th place in the line, and by later on Thursday morning, around 500 people had already joined the queue for the store in Tverskaya Street, one Twitter user claimed.
Moscow authorities even provided a bus to allow people in the queue to keep warm during cold nights, with temperatures plunging below zero.
Мосгортранс предоставил автобус для обогрева стоящих в очереди за iPhone Х людей на Тверской улице. pic.twitter.com/ENfhH4BHok— Тот самый Мартин (@martin_camera) November 2, 2017
Meanwhile, some enterprising go-getters started sales of their own, selling their positions in the queue. The cost of a front-row position in the line was much more than the price of the iPhone itself, rising to 300,000 rubles ($5,135), according to a man who claimed to be selling places on Twitter.
He also advertised positions for sale from 3rd to 10th in the line for some 100,000 rubles ($1,711) and boasted that he had found eager customers who were willing to buy them. The same offer could be found on some Russian classifieds websites.
Срочно куплю место в очереди! С 3 по 10! 100000₽.Плачу наличными! Я возле ГУМа. Первое могу продать за 300.000₽.Есть клиент, шоб вы понимали— Макс Верник (@maxvernik) November 2, 2017
The iPhone hype was mocked on social media. Some created pictures comparing the crowds lining up for the modern technology with old photos of crowds lining up for bread during Soviet times.