CINCINNATI - Imagine spending two weeks sleeping on the streets of New York City, all in the name of grabbing the first new iPhone 5c and 5s models.
That’s the reality for Tri-Staters Jon Murphy and Justin Lockhart, who’ve been sleeping on a Fifth Avenue sidewalk outside The Apple Store since Sept. 6, waiting for the new devices, which debut on Sept. 20.
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“It’s definitely been interesting. I didn’t think it’d be that easy to be sleeping on the sidewalk,” Murphy said in a telephone interview, adding that tent camping isn’t permitted. “When it rains, well, we went down to Home Depot and bought a mini-tarp and use water bottles to keep it down. So it’s not as roomy or homey as a tent.”
For Murphy the outdoor adventure is all new: It's his first time urban camping and his first time in New York City. It's all good, he said, because he’s actually on a business trip for Cincinnati-based SellYourMac.com.
“We’re a pretty small company and our owner wanted to get some publicity out there,” he said. “We are just here promoting our company as well as waiting.”
Lessons learned in line
Murphy said he and Lockhart have learned a thing or two while camping out in front of the Apple Store--like a simple guerilla marketing approach can bring results.
"Just from sitting out here we have gotten a chance to meet hundreds of people and talked to many bloggers, news reporters over the phone," Murphy said.
They're also chronicling their adventure on social media. There's a Facebook page with photos and updates from the front lines of the iPhone line.
Murphy and Lockhart are tweeting (the handle is @sellyourmac ) as they wait, and even created the hashtag #SYM5s to connect with fellow Apple aficionados. Since launching the Twitter account on Sept. 6, they've gained more than 900 followers.
Staying a while
Murphy and Lockhart are not alone. Nine other iPhone hopefuls joined them in the line on Sept. 17.
Even though they got a 14-day jump on the release of the new iPhones, two other people beat Murphy and Lockhart to the head of the line--by one day.
Never ones to miss an opportunity, Murphy and Lockhart supplied the early arrivers with SellYourMac.com promotional gear.
The pair didn’t know what to pack, but made sure it was a little as possible. Laptops and mobile phones allow them to work while waiting. And no worries, they do get to shower.
“This is why we have two people. We have a place we can shower,” Murphy said. “One of us stays at the post and one of use goes back to the apartment, it’s 10 to 15 blocks away. We walk there, shower. Also get our exercise for the day."
"Urban camping is now something we can cross off our bucket lists," he added.