Rain, hail or shine (in the case of Sydney non-stop torrential rain and bellowing wind) the iLovers camped outside Sydney’s Apple store on George Street to nab what’s known as one of the world’s most popular devices.
Lindsay Handmer, 32, was officially the first person in Sydney to get his hands on the new Apple iPhone 6s. Not only is he the first person in Sydney to do so, thanks to the timezone, he is also one of the first in the world to get his hands on one of the smartphones.
Beating plenty of Sydneysiders to the queue, Handmer told ARN he was in the line for the new iPhone for 17 days in the lead-up to the launch; but what is more intriguing is that he will not be the one to hold the device close to his heart and own it.
The iPhones that Handmer picked up are to be auctioned off.
“I did it as a publicity stunt to launch a new website called mysparetech.com.au for people to buy and sell technology but I’m also here supporting Charity Mission Australia. I will be buying the first iPhone in Australia and that will get auctioned off for charity.
“That will finish off later today. People can bid on it through charitybid.com.au. Finder sponsored me to buy a second phone for them, which will also be sold through charity. I’ll be getting both the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus 128GB in silver,” he said.
Handmer lined up before Apple even made the announcement that the devices will be available in Australia on September 25 just so he could beat everyone else to it.
“In past years, Apple’s phones have gone on sale not that long after the announcement but this time, there was an extra week in there. That’s why I ended up a week longer than I thought I would be,” he indicated.
He used the website, Airtasker, to pay people to stand in the queue while he was out taking breaks.
“This wet weather has been horrible but in the lead-up to it, we had some good sunny days too so camping out wasn’t that bad. The 24-hour Maccas is where I have been eating mostly,” he said.
If you thought Handmer was in line at the expense of his waistline, fret not. He had that sorted out too. The Fitness First branch just down the road from the Apple store hooked him up with a gym membership so he could work out and shower.
What might reel others up even more is the fact that Handmer isn’t an Apple fanboy. He does not own any Apple products himself and as a result, said had to head across the road to the Telstra shop to charge his mobile device for him (yes, he did that for 17 days).
“It feels pretty good to pick up the first two iPhones. Look, everyone loves the iPhone and this way I can promote my business, I can raise money for charity and everyone wins. It was worth the 17-day wait, I think, as long as they sell for a good price.”
Eggsy Niu was the first in the pre-order queue to get himself an iPhone 6s in gold.
“I want to change my old phone, I now use the iPhone 5s – it’s so old. I like the iPhone 6s because it has new technology like force touch, which I like. And I want the gold one because I think the rose gold one is more for females,” he said.
The Sydney Apple store also saw a camper unlike any other – a telepresence robot. On an iPad stuck on a Segway, Lucy Kelly was the first robot to pick up the device. She manoeuvred it remotely using an app.
“I’ll wheel my purchase back to the Atomic 212, office (the media agency that she works for) and open it with my team, it’s going to be a group process. We had many of these robots around the office and thought I should put one out the front of the Apple store,” she said.
Clearly Kelly was after the updated version of the iPhone but wasn’t going to put up with the bad weather to get one.
"People keep telling me I'm the smartest person here. I'm starting to believe that, because by the looks of it, it’s cold and wet there,” she said from the comforts of her home in Mosman.
Sadly, Handmer beat her – or it – to buying the first two.