Detailed in a TaskRabbit blog post, the service networking company launched a new task today in conjunction with Apple’s iPhone 5 announcement. For a price of $55, anyone can pay a TaskRabbit representative to stand in line in front of an Apple store on the release date of the new iPhone 5. Easy to identify in a TaskRabbit shirt, the representative will stand in the line for up to four hours on the morning of Friday, September 21. TaskRabbit has setup an iPhone 5 hub page for people around San Francisco and New York City, but anyone can setup a similar TaskRabbit task at Apple stores around the United States.
After someone interested in purchasing the new iPhone 5 schedules the task through the site, an assigned TaskRabbit representative will contact the user within the next 48 hours. The user can specify timing in addition to model information like the iPhone 5 color as well as the size of the internal storage drive. Model information is required since Apple store employees typically walk through the line to assign inventory in order to cut the line at a specific point.
At this point, the representative will show up at a specific time to stand in line. Hypothetically, someone that’s been standing in line since midnight for a spot much closer to the Apple store could schedule a TaskRabbit representative to come relieve them for a few hours. After the task has been completed on September 21, the user will be charged the $55 fee for the TaskRabbit service. TaskRabbit is also offering the opportunity for two people to win a new iPhone 5 if they schedule a TaskRabbit representative prior to September 20.
In order to become a TaskRabbit representative, an interested party has to fill out an application in addition to submitting to a criminal background check through a company called Acxiom. Beyond the application, a video interview is also required to be hired.
Approval is based on the location of the applicant, skill set and needs for different services within the community. When an applicant is approved to become a TaskRabbit representative, they have the ability to dictate their schedule in addition to setting their own rate. According to the TaskRabbit FAQ, some representatives make upwards of $5,000 per month through the site.
When the iPhone 4S was launched on October 14, 2011, an eight-block line formed outside an Apple store in Tokyo and some people attempted to sell spots in line on Craigslist. Lines around the United States started forming within six to twelve hours prior to the opening of each Apple store. Stores in Paris and London also saw a significant number of people standing in line many hours before stores opened. At the Apple store in Los Gatos, Steve Wozniak landed the first spot in line and happily took photographs with many Apple fans as well as reminisce about the late Steve Jobs. In order to snag the first spot in line at that Apple store, he arrived a little more than eighteen hours before the store opened the day that the iPhone 4S officially went on sale.