Greg Packer Buys an iPhone

By June 27, 2007Media Relations

Turned on the CBS Early Show for just a second this morning, two people are waxing breathless about Apple’s new iPhone. The reporter then says something along the lines of, “It’s so NEAT! that Greg Packer has been waiting since Monday morning to buy one, Greg Packer!” And then the camera flashes over to a smiling fellow sitting in a lawn chair. Here’s the Sydney Morning Herald’s version of the same story.

Stephen Hutcheon
June 27, 2007 – 10:42AM

To claim his 15 minutes of fame, Greg Packer started queueing to be among the first paying customers in the world to own an Apple iPhone a full 101 hours before the much-hyped mobile phone goes on sale on Friday evening.

Packer, a retired highway maintenance worker, began his long vigil outside Apple’s flagship retail store in New York on Monday morning at 5am.

Greg Packer has claimed his 15 minutes so many times, he deserves a wing in the Andy Warhol Museum. Packer just happens to be a prince among the media mockers (not machers), a professional man on the street, a guy who is always offering himself to reporters as a disinterested regular ol’ Joe, just happy to share his opinions.

From Editor & Publisher, a July 2004 report:

NEW YORK He’s not just another face in the crowd at concerts, book signings, and sporting events. Somehow, over the course of 10 years, one man has managed to become the media’s go-to guy, quoted more than 100 times in various publications, including several prominent newspapers. Greg Packer is the “man on the street.”

Did Packer con the media this time? Nah. Just having fun at their expense. And, what the heck: iPhone and Packer. What a cross-promotion.

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • The Bush says:

    Greg did get 2 iPhones, one paid for by a German news organization, and the other paid for by Tetris Cube.

  • Eric Bergen says:

    Judging by today’s selloff, I think potential customers are starting to realize how expensive the iPhone will be. If you sign the mid-range $99.99/mo service plan after purchasing the 8GB iPhone model, that alone will set you back $3000 during the two-year contract (without any accessories)!

    Here’s a few other potential hurdles that could prevent the iPhone from exceeding its already lofty expectations:

    * You must be an AT&T customer to use the iPhone. With a market share of 20%, that means 80% of wireless customers must cancel their current contracts to sign with AT&T. Being a Sprint customer, I would have to pay a $175 cancellation on top of the $3000 price tag for the iPhone. AT&T’s exclusive contract runs through 2009.
    * Only 4 & 8GB of hard drive space? My tiny video iPod holds 30 GB for less than $200.
    * Recent surveys have shown that the majority of IT departments will not even consider the iPhone due to its PC incompatibilities & exclusive AT&T contract. That will dampen business spending & all but eliminate demand for the higher-tier contracts.

    This is the ultimate “sell the news” scenario. On Jan 9th 2007, Steve Jobs announced the iPhone at the Macworld Conference & Expo. The stock has since been on fire rising 50% to $125, adding $30 billion to the company’s market capitalization. Will the iPhone really hold that much value for Apple? This huge runup comes after a fantastic finish to 2006 after Apple’s stock bottomed out at $50 in October. Thus, nearly everyone holding Apple is sitting on huge gains.

    Expect an Apple selloff on Friday when the iPhone is finally released. 3 similar mini-selloffs have occurred during this recent runup:

    * June 26th: Apple announces 6 AT&T service plans for the iPhone. The stock drops 3% on investor concerns over the high prices.
    * June 11th: Steve Jobs shows off the iPhone at Apple’s World Wide Developer’s Conference. The stock falls 5% after investors saw no “surprises”.
    * March 20th: Apple beats 4th quarter analyst earnings & revenue estimates. The stock falls on profit taking.

    Apple’s recent success has created impossible expectations. With all the mega-hype already priced into the stock, just meeting expectations will create a selloff. I plan to sell tomorrow and buy back in a couple months. Longer-term investors need not worry because the future looks bright with Macs gaining market share & the iPods continuing their dominant foothold on the music industry.

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