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.