Reports from Bloomberg suggest that many of the people waiting outside Apple Stores are grey marketeers acting on behalf of third parties, many of them abroad.
This has become a fact of life in Apple stores here in London. Every day there is a long queue of Asian and middle-eastern gentlemen clutching wads of £50 notes. Every time they get to the head of the line they buy two iPhones and now, presumably, two iPad 2s. Chatting to a couple of these grey marketeers earlier in the week, I discovered they get paid £50 for every iPhone they can get hold of. Most of these devices are on the first plane out of Heathrow.
I don’t know whether this is a good thing or bad. While it’s encouraging to see Apple products doing so well, I can’t help think this professional buying is unfair to to the ordinary punter who just wants a phone or tablet for himself.