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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

iPhone 5 'Worth' the Wait

The iPhone 5 is set to be released Friday and the lines winding around the Apple stores are filled with people being paid to wait.

The iPhone 5 is set to be released Friday but you don't have to wait in one of the long, winding lines yourself to get Apple's newest smart phone. Most people camped outside the high-profile stores waiting for the new iPhone are being paid to stand there.

The new iPhone 5 is set to be released on Friday (Photo by ATVN).
The new iPhone 5 is set to be released on Friday (Photo by ATVN).

Hawking companies, like San Francisco's TaskRabbit, are paying people with a lot of time on their hands around $1,500 just to wait in line, according to the LA Times. TaskRabbit, which pays people to perform simple, daily tasks like picking up dry cleaning, provided their hires with plenty of free gear along with giant signs that read: "#SkipTheLine with TaskRabbit."

Joining the hawking company hires are opportunists looking to promote their own websites, blogs and apps. These entrepreneurs are in turn being sponsored by other companies to camp outside the Apple Stores, turning their shirts and hats into billboard advertisements.

With the tents, signs and swarms of people, the pop-up camps surrounding the Apple stores are reminiscent of the Occupy grounds, but the iPhone culture is vastly different.

iPhone customer William Nestlehutt has set up shop yet again outside a Southern California Apple store in anticipation of the new smart phone. "Last time there was about 1500 people in line," said Nestlehutt. "I think I was like the 16th or 17th, but it was a lot of fun and a lot of coffee shops brought us coffee and cupcakes and stuff.  And it's cool you get to talk and meet with people."

The new iPhone is lighter, thinner and boasts a bigger screen than the previous model, upgrading from 3.5 inches to 4 inches measured diagonally. This gives room for another row of application icons and a higher video quality.

Apple's doors are set to open at 3:00 a.m. E.D.T. to the eagerly waiting--and paid--crowds

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