We thought people camping outside for the new Apple iPhone 5S and 5c were complete lunatics, till we learnt they can make £5,000 or more from the idle rich…
Name: Michael Roberts (furthest left)
From: Hampton Court, Surrey
Position in the queue: Second
How long he's been in it: Since Tuesday afternoon [22 hours]
FHM: Have you camped out here before?
Michael: This is my fifth or sixth year of doing this. I’ve always been one of the first five and I’ve always managed to sell my space. The most I’ve ever got was five grand and that was for the iPhone 4.
So how does it work?
The night before Friday’s launch, all the rich people will drive down here in their fancy cars and park outside the front. They don’t care if they get a ticket. Most of them get towed away. They walk straight up to you and go, “How much do you want for your space?” It’s normally the insanely rich people from Dubai. They’ll turn up in their Ferraris and Lamborghinis and they all just pull up in a line. It’s like a taxi rank.
What do you think of people like that?
The first time it ever happened to me, I thought they were joking. But they’re deadly serious. They want the latest device and they’re not going to queue up for four or five days.
Who was the guy with the £5k?
He had the money with him and didn’t care where it went. He paid then and there, in cash.
Do you think you’ll get more this time round?
I’ll get a lot more. This year, you’ve got the release of two iPhones and the finger print scanner is a big deal. These rich guys will want to own it. I have no hesitation that I’m going to walk away from this with a lot of money.
Do you come down on your own?
Yeah but the first 10 in the queue are usually the same people. We've known each other for five years. It’s more of a tradition now. We live in different parts of the country, this is our chance to meet up, chill out, get pissed and get paid for it.
What if you need the loo?
We take turns going out so we’re not sitting here all day. The only places we’ll ever need to go is the toilet, showers in the gym or in the shop and charge up all our devices.
We heard you get free pizza.
We call up places like Domino’s and tell them what we’re doing and they’ll supply us with food for the week for free. All we have to do is take a picture and tweet it out because, between us, we’ve got millions of followers.
Do you get ever get all shit up in the night?
I woke up Monday night and I could just see a silhouette standing outside my tent. It scared the shit out of me. I just went, “Mate, do you want anything?” and he walked off.
What about queue jumpers?
It does happen but there’s enough of us to get rid of them. Apple start keeping a record of who’s in the queue from tomorrow.
So what are you going to do after?
I’m an estate agent. Today’s my day off but I’ve taken a couple of days holiday as well. Then I’m back to work on Saturday.
Follow Michael on Twitter.