Many people make a conscious decision to wait in line for an iPad or iPhone instead of pre-ordering their iOS device. A recent Marketwatch article examines some of the reasons why people brave the elements just to buy the latest and greatest gadgets.
According to retail marketing experts, people enjoy the experience of collective shopping. Customers are not waiting in line alone, they are conversing and enjoying each other's company. Retailers add to this party mood by providing food, drinks and other goodies to the line-waiters.
Experts also claim people's purchasing decisions are validated by crowds. Some customers may be hesitant about their purchase, but they feel better when they realize dozens of other people made the same decision. iPhone and iPad lines are also driven by a sense of scarcity. People get excited when they know an item is in short supply and are willing to stretch the bounds of their comfort to acquire it.
I used to be a line-waiter and did it because I wanted to ensure that I got the iPhone/iPad at launch and because I enjoyed the camaraderie. Now that I live more than an hour away from an Apple Store, it's easier just to pre-order. Do you wait in line to get your iPhone/iPad fix?