Presented By
A customer counts cash to pay for two iPhone 6 smartphones during the sales launch at the Apple Inc. store in New York, U.S., on Friday, Sept. 19, 2014.
Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images

In the days before the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus were released, the Apple Store in SoHo, New York City, was surrounded not by throngs of excited Apple fans, but by dozens of indifferent-looking, older customers.

According to a short film by Casey Neistat, many of the front-of-liners spoke little English, waiting for the Apple Store to open with a insouciance that seemed incongruous for the launch of one of the most-hyped gadgets of the year. Many of them bought two iPhones each in cash, and then resold the iPhones to another buyer, as seen in Neistat’s films. At least one line-waiter is also seen being arrested for reasons unclear.

What was going on here? The title of this video documenting iPhone 6 days suggests “Chinese mafia” involvement. While there’s no evidence of that exactly, there certainly does appear to be something fishy going on — it’s not impossible many of the first-in-line customers were there just to get some iPhone units to sell in the secondary market here or overseas.

More Must-Reads From TIME

Contact us at

You May Also Like