Entrepreneurs swarm at iPhone launch
In New York, the annual launch of iPhone upgrades has morphed from being a odd meeting of tech-geek-love into an giant marketing opportunity for scrappy business-minded folks looking to promote a small business.
Hey, why not? Where else can you find hundreds of potential customers, stuck in line for hours with wallets deep enough to buy a pricey piece of hardware, a swarm of TV news cameras as well as myriad other member of the media (including yours truly), and minimal security?
As far as the business of the day — Apple selling a new phone; customers buying them — the iPhone 4 launch was business as usual. The real show in New York was on the periphery, watching entrepreneurs at work hawking websites, phone-swapping services, a radio station, vampires and more. Is there an economy growing here?
Here’s a sample of the show on Manhattan’s midtown this morning:
AOL Lifestream, a system that aggregates networks like Facebook and Flickr, brought muffins.
The guys in the insert, from IM Plus — a mobile messenger app — carpet-bombed the line with bright yellow hats.
A Vampire Advocacy group (I didn’t know what else to call them) encouraged folks to rebuke Edward Cullen et al from the blockbuster Stephanie Meyer book/film series, and reflect on the good old days when Vampires “were eating teenagers not dating them.”
Radio station 92.3 NOW FM brought along a half-naked woman — they called her the Naked Now Girl (very likely a take on New York’s very own Naked Cowboy.)
Gadget recycling outfit Gazelle bought an entire squad. Their shirts say “Is that an iPhone in your pocket?”
Another electronics recycling group –Secure Tradin: iTrade, iPhone, iSave.
…and no less than 5 TV news outlets to record it all. Trust me, its good business for the media to cover events that we know will get large viewership. (Ahem, please feel free to read the ads on this page, by the way. Thanks. )