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iPhone 6 Lines and Networking Traffic

It’s not news to anyone that last week the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus came out. I mean the news is currently filled with mindless dribble of how many people have been waiting in lines throughout the country, physically attacks that occured due to aquisition of the device, and the jaw dropping record sales that Apple has reported of their ‘new’ device. Personal opinion aside, I’m going to be relating the crowd line culture to Networked traffic theory and how efficient it is to wait in a line period.

To preface all of this it is important to note that stores announce release and launch dates significantly in advance to potential customers in order to get these lines in the first place, they exist so that people come into their stores and come out having spent a lot of money. But what is interesting and how I’m going to relate this to the class is in how Nash Equalibria should be considered when chosing to go to major launches like the iPhone 6 sppecifically comparing the US to China.

In case it is not clear, China has banned the iPhone 6 to be sold within their borders. So something interesting has happened throughout the US, people sat on line for hours just to get the new device, just to purchase it and sell it to people at a higher price to those who have not waited in line. Apparently the cost of wasting time on line was worth the amount of money people gained from the immedietly selling the phone. One shocking factor in this is that many of these purchases are then reported to be smuggled into China. This is interesting because it has been reported that the cost of the iPhone in China was marked up to be about two grand, clearly worth traveling across seas and getting the phone in the US and then traveling back to China. This article is an example of the cost of “traveling” down one route as compared to another route because the cost of purchasing the phone within one country and the cost + travel time it takes to purchase it in another country causes more people to go down the less “costly” path. The one problem that I can foresee in people traveling across boarders to aquire the phone is that security procedures may change with people who travel out of the country for a short period of time, therefor increasing the cost of traveling abroad, and possibly putting an end to international technology smuggling.


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September 2014