Woman explains why she is waiting in line for an iPhone 5

[Video Link] Mossberg, watch out -- Rachel's gunning for your job.

(Via Uproxx)


    1. When you realize that, the situation has a kind of surreal symmetry.  Workers at Foxconn work tirelessly to construct this product that they only vaguely understand.  Meanwhile in the US, poor entrepreneurs grab them up with the same naivety.

      Somewhere, someone knows what this thing is for, and wants it very badly for some reason.  All we know is that it’s Important.

        1. I think he’s suggesting that the people building them may or may not really understand what they’re doing. Pretty probably true, really. Most assembly line workers aren’t trained on the functionality of the parts they’re installing.

          They’ve been told to slot in the part from the bin labeled “27”, slot the big plug into the green receptor, connect the little plug to the blue receptor, make sure the light blinks, and then secure it with three torx screws. Why? Because Foxconn doesn’t care if the employee knows that they’re installing. Their job is to install it, not think.

          It’s a shame, because in places like the auto industry a lot of important innovations and optimizations were made by assembly line workers, back in the day when they actually learned about what they were doing.

          1. You don’t have to be in a backwater cut off from the world to not know much about the iPhone 5.  Heck, I didn’t know about it until I read this, and my parents probably still don’t.  Most of the world knows next to nothing about this consumer device.  And why would they?  Unless they are in the narrow demographic of first-world tech consumers with disposable income, why would anyone care?

          2.  I’ve watched a couple documentaries in which foxconn workers were shown a fully assembled ipad, and were absolutely amazed with what it could do. They’d never seen one turned on before.

            I’ve also read blogs by Bunnie Huang, who invented the chumby, and talked at length about the challenges he faced trying to get a chinese manufacturer to produce his device. I’m recalling a post where he flew out to china to troubleshoot a problem with manufacturing, and it turned out they were soldering the red battery line to negative and the black to positive. They all had years of soldering experience, but had no idea that black was negative and red was positive. They had no idea how the devices worked, or what they did, only how to solder them.

          3.  http://blogs.kqed.org/newsfix/2012/02/06/video-chinese-foxconn-worker-who-works-60-hours-a-week-making-ipads-but-has-never-seen-one/

        2. Do you know how an iPhone 5 works?  I mean, beyond “it’s a phone, but it also runs wizzy software, so I guess it’s more like a tiny computer, but then what isn’t these days, and it has some nice multitouch controls, and some stupidly obvious features that for some reason are patented.”

          Like, could you identify on the circuit board where the GPS chip is, and what components outside the chip directly support it?  Comment on the engineering reasons for placing it there as opposed to at another spot on the circuit board?  Say anything at all meaningful about its operating system architecture?

          I know I couldn’t – and it has nothing to do with my living in a backwater cut off from the world.  I have a smartphone in my pocket right now that I only vaguely understand.  If I worked assembling smart phones in a factory, my understanding of smart phones would not change significantly.

      1.  If they finally make that sequel to Altman’s Popeye*, she’s a shoo-in for Olive Oyl.

        *I’ve been spreading this rumour for literally seconds, but Hollywood keeps not acting on it.

    1. She looks more like a Samsung plant if anything, it would at least be more in line with their advertising.

  1. Are we supposed to side with Beaker? This looks like a case of picking on the meek. If there are any points to be made about the whim of people who think it worth their while to wait in line for any product, then surely there are dignified ways to make them.

    1. When we get to the end and it appears that she has never owned a phone before.. I found it quite endearing.
      Either way, I am pretty sure she has some learning difficulties, so screw anyone getting snarky about this. She is trying her best.

      1. Or maybe she has a shitty job with no internet access and can’t sit around all day reading boingboing and wants a smartphone so she can sneakily spend all day online at work to become better informed about all sorts of things and even about smartphones, too.

    2. As much as this kind of conspicuous consumption makes me want to barf, his smugness is just unbearable.

      Also, somebody mentioned that this kind of camping/blocking the sidewalk was ok, but if they were protesting they’d be facing police stormtroopers. I thought that was a good point.

      1. Conspicuous consumption? Isn’t that a bit harsh? She doesn’t seem excessively concerned with fashion. Despite wanting three phones she might not have much money and would just like to treat herself to something shiny and new so as not to feel excuded.

    3. Actually I do side with him. What ever happened to saying “I don’t know” when you don’t know? Why do people feel like they have to satisfy the interviewer by playing along like they know?

      Just say “I don’t know” and you will sound far less stupid

  2. I’m sorely disappointed that the video isn’t in 1080p.  It would enhance all the derpness.

    /I’ve heard the next iPhone will have ‘moving pictures’ too, but with sound!

  3. Summary: 
    I am not familiar with this product but it is pretty and has a white apple on it. Apple internets are safe, happy internets. They are only $200, I’m going to buy three of them on the credit card.

    If she is an Apple shill, she’s not a very good one.

  4. If I were the type of person to wait in line for an iPhone (or anything else), that is definitely the type of chair I would do it in.

  5. I guess its better than waiting in line at the wedding ring/gun place from that earlier post.

    “I want a ring and a shiny new Winchester 5… I have heard its cool and all woody looking with black metal parts and its better than the Winchester 4 which was crap, but this one will not be an internet scam and I will not have to share it with my hunting buddies”

    I think it works for nearly every product in the right context.

  6. She knows what she wants and the Apple 5 will give it to her. What she wants is not what *you* think is important, but she’s the one who’s going to be using it.

  7. She does seem oblivious (right out of central casting for a Samsung commercial), but people with that level of cluelessness also buy other brands of phones every day.  Ask anyone that works in a phone store.  They just don’t get interviewed on camera.

    1. They also don’t wait in line for 2 days to avoid “internet scams” perpetrated by the company that they are going to give their credit card details to anyway.

  8. Come on guys! Let’s go laugh at the awkward freak on the playground, but pretend we’re his friend! And then we’ll post it YouTube and stuff! (Because it’s not bullying if you’re cool and hip and got a blog and podcast and stuff. Snicker.)

    Hipsters crave freaky laughs and fortunately there are so many freaks out there to give them the freaky laughs they crave. It’s a veritable buffet of freaky delicacies! Yum yum.

    1. I’m just a caveman. I fell on some ice and later got thawed out by some of your hipster techno-fetishists. Your world frightens and confuses me! Sometimes the ringtones of your mobile phones make me want to run off into the hills, or wherever… Sometimes when I get a text message I wonder: “Did little demons get inside my cellphone and type it?” I don’t know! My primitive mind can’t grasp these concepts. 

  9. FWIW, this is an Opie and Anthony bit (essentially). Sam Roberts is playing it straight, but probably interviewed a few people in line to find the looniest and he knows how to work the anti-humor interview. I doubt it’s fake; it’s certainly a common enough technique in documentaries and cable news.

  10. You know what I like about this video? Not the fact that he’s illustrating that this person knows nothing about what she’s in line for. What I like about this video is that the interviewer manages to make his point with the interview without doing anything to make this lady feel bad in anyway. He’s actually being quite nice to her. If anything, this interview feels pretty warm and fuzzy!

    Mr. interviewer guy, you seem nice, and you can be my friend.

  11. This isn’t a comment about her intelligence or anything else, but she kind of looks like she’s been animated by Pixar.

  12. After being in line for two days, I imagine that anyone would sound a bit off.  I am still finding uses for my Android phone, so I applaud her willingness to embrace something new.

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