iPhone waiting costs $34.4 million?

My coworkers and I just ran a back-of-the-envelope calculation on the societal cost of all these people waiting for the iPhone:

150 Apple Stores in the US. Approximate, but close. If someone wants to count: Store list.

100 people per Apple Store. While the NY and SF stores are getting all the attention, the Apple Store in Palo Alto has more than 150 people waiting. I actually think this number is conservative.

10,000 AT&T stores in the US (Source). I’m not sure how accurate this figure is (and if it includes authorized resellers who aren’t going to be selling any on the first day), but we’ll go with it for now.

20 people per AT&T store. It seems like the AT&T stores aren’t getting the same love as Apple stores, but 20 feels like a conservative estimate.

8 hours waiting per person. While the “iLoser” decided to sit in line 100 hours before the release, I think most people started first thing in the morning today.

$20/hr per person. This may seem high, but the average salary in the US was $15.54/hr in 2004, and you have to have some financial clout to afford a phone that’s going to cost you $2000+ in the next two years. I’m sure the mayor of Philadelphia makes more than that too.

What does it all add up to?

(150 Apple Stores x 100 People/Apple Store + 10,000 AT&T Stores x 20 People/AT&T Store) x 8 hr/person x $20/hr = $34,400,000

So there you have it. $34.4 million in people’s waiting time for the iPhone. To be fair though, it seems like some people were actually working while waiting in line with their EVDO cards and laptops (and others were waiting as their jobs).

Nevertheless, we need to come up with a new paradigm for buying release day products so that we don’t waste so much time. Any ideas?

PS Sorry for the long hietus. I should have some extra time in the coming weeks and have some ideas lined up to blog about.

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ZA is a blog about ideas: cool ideas, existent ideas, pointless ideas, crazy ideas, my ideas, your ideas, interesting ideas, funny ideas, product ideas, meaningless ideas, great ideas, shrimp ideas, etc. It’s here for people to rant, rave, share, and satisfy. Any idea here (if original) is free for you to use (I take no responsibility) as long as you credit the originator of the idea (be honest). Feel free to send me any ideas, but a blog is considered to be public disclosure so you will lose all rights to patent it. Enjoy.

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