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

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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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The Apple iPhone 5 has arrived! Is it worth the hype?

Apple Introduces iPhone 5

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Apple introduces the iPhone 5 in San Francisco. Did it live up to the hype?

Apple is still in the process of running through various product updates and rollouts in San Francisco, but the marquee event — the reveal of the all-new iPhone 5 — has concluded. The verdict: Apart from a modest change in the design and some improvements in speed and battery life, this is not a radically new smartphone. Here's a quick summary:

The new connector is the most controversial thing about the iPhone 5. Basically, Apple is replacing the familiar connector that was borrowed from the iPod eight years ago with a new, smaller connector. This is to make room inside the taller, thinner iPhone 5. But it strands the iNation with a bajillion connectors and chargers that have been amassed over the better part of a decade. Apple says it will provide an adapter, called "Lightning," for something like $15, but you know how it goes with fiddly little things like that. Apple better sell them in six-packs.

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