IPhone 5: A Dispatch From the Front Lines

The early birds outside a New York Apple Store were there for anything but the new iPhone 5
Outside Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue Apple Store, five days from the sale date of the iPhone 5 Photograph by Brian Finke for Bloomberg Businessweek

There were only about seven people camped outside Apple’s Fifth Avenue store on Sept. 17, waiting for the Sept. 21 release of the iPhone 5. In a one-hour period no fewer than a dozen journalists visited those seven people. This was the observer effect in full—the act of watching a thing didn’t just change the thing being watched, it was the thing itself.

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