By Patrick Avenell (Follow me on Twitter)
Although the prospect of being the first person in Australia – possibly the world – to own the iPhone 4S is driving Sydney schoolboy Wil Batterham in his 60-hour camp outside the Apple Store on George Street, the young lad this morning revealed that getting his hands on the new device was only part of a wider plan in his ongoing Apple quest.
Wil, along with his friend Tom Mosca, set up their nest yesterday afternoon, forgoing school for the week. Armed with a Macbook Pro, an iPhone 4 and an iPad 2, Wil – who is the unofficial spokesman of the pair – is the type of ultra-dedicated brand-focused consumer that most companies can only dream of. So inculcated in the Apple lifestyle is Wil, his goal in life is to work at the Apple Store he is currently making his home.
“I want to get the iPhone 4S,” he told Current.com.au, “but I also want to work at the Apple Store. Camping out here shows my dedication and enthusiasm”.
While Current.com.au spoke to Wil and Tom this morning, a current Apple Store employee – identifying himself as James – came out to give the boys a free bottle of juice. The Store is allowing the pair to use its Wi-Fi network endlessly, and charge their devices as required. Even a hardened PC/BlackBerry user such as your correspondent couldn’t help be impressed by this succour.
Sounding eerily like a cult member at times, Wil mocks the hearty folk queuing overnight for a $2 Galaxy SII, saying that paying $999 for a 64GB iPhone 4S is much better value. Wil also admits to becoming emotional when hearing of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs’ death last week.
“I was very sad when I heard that he had died – I almost cried. If you don’t feel sad when someone who admire — your favourite hero — dies, you’ve got no feelings,” Wil said.
A 60-hour consumer vigil is not entirely rare — obsessive fans have been known to queue tirelessly for Harry Potter books, Star Wars films and Tool concert tickets — but a 60-hour job interview is something else. Wil isn’t enduring inclement weather for an executive position or a well-paid cushy career: he wants to work in retail, an industry known for long hours, demanding customers and high staff turnover.
Is there any other supplier or retailer that could breed this level of dedication? If you think so, please let tell us in the comments field below.