September 18, 2014 6:41 pm

Why some Torontonians are camping out for the new iPhone


TORONTO – Wednesday night was a cold and uncomfortable one for Bruno Wong and Bianca Torchi: Both slept inside the Eaton Centre outside the Apple Store to be among the first to get their hands on the new iPhone 6.

“It’s the Apple culture, there’s such a strong ritual to be first. It’s just a satisfying feeling to be able to hold it in your hand,” says Wong who brought two sleeping bags and a thin foam mattress to shelter him from the Eaton Centre’s cold, uninviting tile.

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“It was kind of nice waking up in front of the apple symbol like the rising sun,” says Torchia.

She and Wong are with Orchard, a company that buys and sells used iPhones. They’re here for business.

“When we come up to a lineup like this we meet all the early adopters, so that’s our target market,” says Wong, who noted that 82 per cent of old iPhones collect dust at home. Only 18 per cent are sold in the online marketplace.

“These phones are good for families who want to buy for their kids, people who have had their phones lost, broken or stolen,” according to Wong.

They’re usually 25 per cent cheaper and in some cases come with a warranty and “hold their value well,” Torchia said.

Apple has been an industry leader with respect to product upgrades and according to consultant Jason Offet, the company has reinvented the practice.

“It’s a symbol of either Apple’s confidence in their products or that they believe their customers are that loyal to them that they can afford to release something new every year that’s going to knock their socks off.”

But Offet also notes the tech giant is facing stiffer competition from companies like Samsung, and the Apple’s “cool” factor is starting to fade.

“Are the fans boys as rabid and yelling as loudly from the top of buildings? Probably not. I think it’s really hard to be cool for a long time. To be cool, especially in high-tech you got be new and wow people and it’s really hard to do that from a technological point of view.”

The promise of Apple’s much-hyped new phones tomorrow still managed to entice around 50 or so fans to camp outside their store at the Eaton Centre.

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