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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.
The Orange Country Register's parent company, Freedom Communications, has been officially acquired by 2100 Trust LLC, headed by Massachusetts businessman Aaron Kushner.
The last pieces of Freedom Communications, including the Orange Country Register, have been sold to 2100 Trust LLC, an investment group led by Aaron Kushner, a Boston-area business man who initiated the purchase last month.
I took a stab at figuring out how big a deal this was, but no confirmation of my back-of-the-envelope math is forthcoming, as the deal size wasn't disclosed by Freedom or Kusher's group. The OCR's Mary Ann Mibourn did confirm an aspect of the purchase:
As part of the deal, Freedom Communications will make an additional one-time contribution to the company's retirement plan. The amount of the contribution was not disclosed.
This contribution was reportedly a dealbreaker for U-T San Diego owners Doug Manchester's ambitions to own two papers in Southern California. It could be a significant amount of money, beyond what 2100 Trust paid for the remnants of Freedom. As I wrote last month: