Gergely Marton will be one of the many that will start a 24-hour queue this morning at Apple Sydney for tomorrow’s iPhone 7 release. But he’s doing it for a complete stranger.
The UTS business and engineering student has agreed to line up for $200 from a city office worker through Airtasker, a site and app that matches people who want jobs done with people who can get it done.
“The fee is $200 with $30 of that going to Airtasker,” Marton told Business Insider. “If I need a bathroom or meal break, the [person who commissioned the job] works in the city so will come and hold my place in the line.”
Airtasker users post all sorts of jobs from assembling Ikea furniture to getting tutoring on computer programming — both of which Marton has performed successfully over the three weeks that he has been on the site. But securing a proxy for the iPhone queue is “one of the most enduring and inventive uses of the platform we’ve seen”, said Airtasker marketing vice president Simon Reynolds.
“It may be an indicator on the popularity of the new iPhone, but we’ve noticed that people are posting jobs to queue for the iPhone earlier than previous years. Most are requesting the popular Jet Black version of the phone, which you can only gain early access to by queueing,” he said.
This is in contrast to those who pre-ordered online through Telstra to get their hands on the device first — many of those customers have been told they will not be receiving their smartphones Friday, as the telco took more pre-orders than it actually had in stock.
A spokesperson for Airtasker said Wednesday that $200 seemed to be the going rate to successfully get someone to line up for the iPhone 7. This compares to the $150 mark that was paid out for the same task during the iPhone 6 launch two years ago.
As for Marton, he said that on a per-hour basis, $200 for 24 hours of work is not very much — but he took on the job for the experience as much as the cash.
“I think it will be a social and friendly atmosphere, to stand in line with other people who really love Apple,” he said.