Why Team Rhizome was up with the lark at 5am today

Posted on September 19, 2014

Protect Your Bubble jackets... strangely too warm for this bizarrely mild September

Protect Your Bubble jackets… strangely too warm for this bizarrely mild September

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus cause a stir outside our office

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus cause a stir outside our office

Brits demonstrate how to queue in an orderly fashion

Brits demonstrate how to queue in an orderly fashion

While the rest of you dreamt about the Scottish referendum result, four Rhizomes were pounding Regent Street from 5am on behalf of our gadget insurance client, Protect Your Bubble.

For today is the day that Apple’s iPhone 6 and phablet-sized (that’s a phone-tablet hybrid to you) iPhone 6 plus go on sale.

The task? To get queuers waiting outside the Apple Store on Regent Street to fill in a survey and tell us which handset they were buying, how long they’d be queuing for and find out why many are doing something as mad as to wait overnight in a thunderstorm for a phone.

But this isn’t just any phone. The iPhone 6 was described by Apple chief Tim Cook as “the most beautiful phone ever made” and tech journos like Matt Warman at the Telegraph have agreed with him.

So what did Protect Your Bubble find out?

  • The queue attracted almost 2,000 people by the time doors opened at 8am on Friday 19 September
  • The queue was dominated by men, with the ratio of men to women at 8:2
  • The average queuing time among the first 100 people in line was 13.5 hours, although the queue began to form around 260 hours before doors opened
  • More than half (52%) the queuers were students, and the average age was 27.5 years
  • People had travelled as far as Moscow to be there
  • iPhone 6 Plus is top choice for queuers at the Apple store on London’s Regent Street – 41% waited in line for the iPhone 6 Plus, 29% were there for both phones
  • Almost half (46%) of queuers don’t think the phablet-sized iPhone 6 Plus is good value for money
  • Larger screen is voted the most hotly-anticipated feature of the new phone by 26%
  • Queuers are not yet convinced by the Apple Watch; 53% don’t plan to buy one in 2015
  • More than a third (35%) doubt the new iPhone battery will last noticeably longer
  • An overwhelming 62% said they would use Apple Pay when it arrives in the UK, although almost a quarter of those surveyed (24%) had never actually heard of the tech giant’s new mobile payment system
  • When asked why they were queuing today, 47% said it was because they were “die-hard Apple fans”. Each person in the queue owned an average 3.7 Apple gadgets. Another 14% said they were waiting because they had missed out on pre-orders. But some were there to make money – 14% planned to buy the new iPhones and quickly sell them on for profit while another 13% described themselves either as ‘professional queuers’ paid by others to wait in line, or were there to try and sell their place in the queue to the highest bidder.
  • More than a quarter (26%) of queuers said the larger screen on both phones – compared to the screen size of the 4-inch iPhone 5S – was the feature they were most excited about, followed by the new design (18%) and the prospect of longer battery life (18%) as promised by Apple. However more than a third (35%) doubted that the battery on the new iPhones would last noticeably longer.

This resulted in coverage on the Mail Online, Metro.co.uk, Forbes and The Register

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