Quartz’s Ritchie King did some excellent reporting this morning, producing the infographic of the day: “The line for new iPhones vs the line for cronuts”. The line for new iPhones is 250 meters, or 92% longer than the line for the iPhone.
What this analysis fails to capture is the opportunity cost of waiting in line for the iPhone compared to The Cronut™. Here’s a back of the envelope calculation:
Conclusion: The Cronut™ has lower opportunity costs in absolute dollar terms, but far higher relative opportunity costs. Also, if you going to wait in line for an iPhone, buy a 5S. Interestingly, while Dominique Ansel is selling a baked good, the cost to his customers almost entirely consists of waiting in line.
To complete these calculations, you have to make a slew of assumptions (always a sign you are doing serious economic analysis). And each assumption has caveats.
Assumption 1: Line length in yards can be reliably converted into line length in minutes, and that this conversion rate is reasonably constant for both lines.