Justice Crew meets crowd at iPhone 6 premiere
AFTER spending 10 days in a queue to be among the first to get their hands on the world's first iPhone 6 phones, Salvatore Gerace and Chris Ibraham reckon its been worth it - just to go down in the record books.
The pair won't be pocketing the 128 gig devices themselves but giving them away as part of a publicity stunt that they hope will inspire other young Aussies to dream big and ignore the knockers.
The two said they started the queue outside the flagship Sydney Apple Store on the day before the devices were unveiled to the world.
The young tech entrepreneurs work for social media marketplace app Alphatise which launched a competition to give away the iPhone 6s.
Alphatise allows people to "wish" on a product, creating the platform for a better 'bulk deal' buy.
Salvatore, 22, and Chris, 21, said the publicity they had been able to generate, on the back of Apple's big day, had been amazing with 'millions' of people reading about their story from around the world.
But they admit their 'day job' hasn't been without the critics.
Plenty of people walking past in Sydney's George Street have told them to 'get a job' and 'get a life'.
And of course there have been those pointing to better phones from Android makers.
News of a terror plot sparking dawn raids in Sydney has also added another element to Sydney's most public queue.
"I am anxious because of all the threats that have been happening,'' Salvatore admitted.
But the pair, like many in the queue, reckon they wouldn't miss the 'buzz' of being at Apple's event of the year.
"These guys are just fans man, they are big fans,'' Salvatore says of the motivation of the hundreds behind him waiting for the doors to open at 8am.
At 10pm on Thursday night, the Sydney queue snaked its way down several streets with many in camping chairs, some on bean bags, covered in blankets and even in small tents.
Many were on their existing iPhones, iPads or Macbooks, listening to music, chatting or even playing cards to kill time. The vast majority were young Asians.
Some made visits to the library or local businesses to recharge their devices while others came with a collection of battery packs for the long haul.
For many, the long night has also given them a chance to consider the plight of the homeless who set up their beds in the heart of the retail area night after night.
Mission Australia has even used the Apple event to remind those forking out up to $1249 on a new phone to consider donating blankets or money to help those on the street.
Around the world, charities are even auctioning spots in the Apple queues as local fundraisers.
Just a few metres down from the Apple store, a much smaller queue was in front of the Telstra shop.
Telstra told Fairfax it was anticipating its 'biggest iPhone launch on record' with 'tens of thousands' registering online for more information about the event.
Justice Crew to lure fans to Telstra's iPhone 6 launch
Those lining up at Telstra's biggest city stores in Sydney, Melboune, Brisbane and Adelaide were being promised prizes, coffee, comfy beanbags and live performances from Australia's Got Talent winners Justice Crew, and the X Factor's Dami Im and Jai Waetford.
Justice Crew Band members will hand over the first iPhones sold in Sydney at Telstra's shop after performing from 7.40am.
Apple said a record 4 million pre-orders for the iPhone 6 were logged on the first day worldwide.
There are plenty of those trying to cash in on the rush, spruiking secured pre-orders on retail site eBay for $1000 more than the official retail price.
Hundreds have also posted ads on online tasks marketplace Airtasker, offering up to $300 for other people to wait in line for them.
For Salvatore and Chris, their 10-day mission has been much more than about a phone.
They want to encourage a 'dream big' spirit among young Aussies, saying there is so much potential for entrepreneurship for those who still believe it only takes a great idea - and some connections - to create business success.
"We are just doers,'' Chris says.
"One of the problems in this country is our culture is so pessimistic,'' Salvatore says.
His advice to parents is simple: "Don't cut down their dreams.''