Because the waiting is the hardest part, millions of ambulatory flesh sacks used up precious hours of their finite lives this week standing on lines to pickup the newest iPhone the instant it was available. Filmmaker and professional fun-haver Casey Neistat went to a few locations around the city to document the iPhenomenon, and made the short video about it below.
And he thinks he stumbled upon a dark truth: Neistat believes a large amount of those people were elderly Asians who were paid by the Chinese Mafia to sleep on the street for days for the phones.
In the video, Neistat follows several of the first buyers (who he claims all bought two phones) out of the store, and watched as they immediately exchanged them with other people for money. Besides the fact that new iPhones sell like hotcakes in Asia—Quartz reports that a 128 GB iPhone 6 Plus will sell for $2,580 in China, way more than twice the price here—Neistat points at the muted reaction at the front of the line (when the Apple store finally opened and the first purchases were made) as evidence that all is not what it seems.
If you look at the video which Neistat made last year, documenting the lines and hoopla around the release of the iPhone 5s, you can get an idea of what he’s referring to. “The scene at the Apple store just before the phones release was also a sight I’d never experienced,” he wrote about his experience in 2013. “Beyond excitement it was closer to hysteria. encouraged by hundreds of equally hysterical employees in blue shirts.”
Even if it isn’t some vast Chinese Mafia conspiracy, this year’s video is worth watching as a slice-of-life document, especially for the unsurprising amount of tension between cops and people on line. There are people in garbage bags, a cop who complains about people smelling (“You people ever heard of soap? You fucking stink”), a woman being arrested, and lots of cops doing their best to prevent people from falling asleep.
We’ve contacted Neistat to talk to him more about why he’s convinced this is (specifically) the Chinese Mafia, and not say, just people who are trying to make extra money on their own, or perhaps some other nefarious one-world authoritarian government hell-bent on controlling the course of humanity.