Apple isn't the only one cashing in on the new iPhone 5.
Brett Andler, a senior mechanical engineering student at Tufts University and self-proclaimed "Apple fanboy," made a spur-of-the-moment decision late Thursday night that landed him a free iPhone 5 -- and then some.
Andler decided to sell his spot in line at the Boston-based Apple retail store, where hundreds of eager iPhone-buyers were huddled Friday morning, hoping to be among the first to get their hands on Apple's latest smartphone. He was No. 21 in line, and he sold his spot for $460.
[Related: iPhone 5 Pre-Orders Sell Out In One Hour]
The iPhone 5 is selling between $199 and $399, depending on storage capacity.
Andler went to the Boylston Street Apple store Thursday evening to camp out and lock down his spot in line. He didn't go with the intention of selling his spot, but the idea came to light as the line started to grow.
"It was kind of spur of the moment, and it was one of those things where I knew I wanted a phone, but at the same time, I didn’t care if I got it today or in three weeks," Andler told CRN.
With that in mind, Andler asked some fellow Apple fans also waiting in line to watch his belongings as he ran to a local Walgreens. Inside, he bought materials to make a sign that read: "Need to be @ work? Buy my spot up front!"
"I walked in [to Walgreens] and went for the brightest color poster board I could find," Andler said.
He didn't have a specific price point in mind for his spot, but learned quickly just how coveted his offer would be. The real selling point was that his spot came with a little white card that Apple employees were handing out to people in line, guaranteeing them a phone once they arrived inside the store. There was one card for each phone in stock, but Apple employees declined to disclose how many phones -- or corresponding cards -- were available.
Andler's card guaranteed a 32-GB white iPhone 5, which had been the model Andler selected.
A bidding war eventually broke out between two Apple fans who spotted Andler's sign.
"There were two people pretty close to one another, which is why I think the price got so high," he said. "One ended up backing out ... it was wild."
The victor paid $460 for the spot, on top of the $299 she will also pay for the 32-GB iPhone 5.
Andler said he would definitely consider pursuing a similar model at Apple's next big product launch. And, he said the camping part was pretty fun, too.
"Absolutely, in a heartbeat," replied Andler, when asked if he would sell his spot in line again. "Honestly, I had a lot of fun spending the night. It was just a cool atmosphere, and the fact that, at the end of the day, I effectively got a free iPhone ... it was just an added bonus."
PUBLISHED SEPT. 21, 2012