June 29, 2007 10:07 PM PDT
iPhone supply lives to sell another day
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An immediate market for iPhones sprang up on eBay and Craigslist Friday evening, as those who had waited in line hoped to cash in on their wait. Some were asking for well over $1,000 for a device priced at either $499 for the 4GB version or $599 for the 8GB version. It's unlikely those prices will hold up through the weekend if iPhones remain readily available at Apple stores, disappointing many with hopes of profiting from the iPhone.
Earlier in the day, those queued up outside the downtown San Francisco store were merging into one big, happy, MacBook Pro-toting family as they whiled away the hours on the city sidewalk.
Dale Larson had claimed either third or seventh place in line for the iPhone in San Francisco, "depending on how you count," he said. Larson looked like he stepped out of one of the office towers nearby, sporting a perfectly creased gray pinstripe suit and working diligently on his Apple laptop. His secret? He lives nearby and a friend swapped with him while Larson freshened up this morning.
Besides a change of clothes and a shower, Larson said he and his fellow line-sitters had been well taken care of.
"There was a drive-by pizza-ing last night around 9," he said. A stranger delivered a couple boxes of pies, which all those in line shared. Early Friday morning, famed chocolate maker Ghirardelli sent over complimentary chocolates, while Apple employees were doling out Smart Water.
And, perhaps most importantly, Larson said Apple had allowed him to recharge his MacBook Pro three times. No word on whether they'd have done the same for ThinkPad or Vaio users.
Some saw the media vortex as a marketing opportunity. Tom Sammons, a 19-year-old recent transplant from Chicago, opted for a comfy leather club chair over the garden-variety foldable camping seats and blankets the rest of those waiting in line used.
His aunt dropped him and the chair off on the street and packed with him a sign reading "Lung Cancer Matters Too!"--a plug for the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation on whose board she sits.
Ben Martinek waited 30 people back in front of the 3rd and Market AT&T store, which was slightly ironic, as he is just two weeks removed from being an Apple employee. He quit his retail position with Apple in Washington, D.C. before news came that each of Steve Jobs' worker bees would get complimentary iPhones.
"Hindsight is 20/20, I guess," Martinek laughed.
CNET News.com's reporters Caroline McCarthy and Anne Broache, as well as CNET TV's Veronica Belmont, contributed to this report.
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