May 23rd 2008
By Mike Flaminio
A sudden, unexplained queue Thursday at New York City's swank Fifth Avenue Apple Store prompted many to wonder if Apple had launched the 3G iPhone or some previously unknown product.
More cynical observers, including Engadget, leapt to the conclusion that Improv Everywhere, a group of actors known for their Gotham publicity stunts, had staged the "event."
Improv Everywhere founder Charlie Todd, though glad for the attention, was quick to deny his group's involvement.
For the record, Improv Everywhere has nothing to do with this. Though I do love that we're now the go-to guess for anything out of the ordinary!
So, why were 60 people queued up outside the Fifth Avenue store (ie the one with the glass cube), complete with barriers and Apple chaperones? AppleInsider discovered the reason to be something altogether more mundane:
Representatives from Apple provided the most logical explanation: the store is simply queuing up iPhone customers to manage the risk of overcrowding at the underground location. Despite its reputation, the Fifth Avenue store is not a large store and is known to be full-to-bursting even without additional factors at work, such as ongoing iPhone shortages and the looming Memorial Day weekend.
OK, everyone, back to your knitting...