Explaining Southern California's economy

3 reasons why the Apple iPhone 5 is creating capitalism on the street

Hotly Anticipated iPhone 5 Goes In Sale In Stores

Mario Tama/Getty Images

Customers take photos while waiting on line to purchase the Apple iPhone 5 outside the Apple Fifth Avenue flagship store on the first morning it went on sale. An entire shadow economy has emerged around the iconic device.

Today is Apple iPhone 5 day. At Apple stores across Southern California, hopeful shoppers have lined up in the hundreds to obtain the glistening new gadget. 

These folks will part with money, but they're also engaged in an ad-hoc iEconomy that's using the iPhone — versions both current and past — to generate profits. Here's how it goes...

It's all about real estate. According to LATimes, people who've lined up outside the Apple store at the Grove shopping complex are selling their places on line. Ten kids showed up at sunrise with the goal of selling five spots in line for $300 a pop, for a neat take of $1,500, pretty much all of it profit (they opportunity cost of standing in line at 6 a.m. when you're 19 is pretty much nil). But they miscalculated their market and could only sell the spots for...$100. Still, that's $500 in coin for...standing. In line. In warm and sunny L.A.

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