Chris Bank is a determined guy. Just before midnight Monday, the 26-year-old San Francisco resident claimed the top two prized spots in the iPhone 4 line outside of Apple's (AAPL) downtown San Francisco store.
Bank is holding out the No. 1 spot for anyone who is willing to rent it - ideally at a price that will cover his costs to get a new iPhone 4, when the doors open at 7 a.m. Thursday. He's using his Twitter account to advertise the spot and also his post on Airbnb.com.
For Bank, who has never slept in line for any product launches or concert tickets, these past two nights have been an adventure. The closest he's ever come to urban camping is sleeping in his car in the parking lot of a company, where he's pitched executives as they arrive in the morning.
The idea to rent the No. 1 spot came from a combination of the rabid interest in the iPhone 4 and his experience when he attended President Obama's inauguration speech last year. People were renting overnight space under tables in people's homes or sleeping in chairs, just to guarantee they could be in Washington, D.C., for the historic event.
"I joked about this idea for a while, but this past week I finally committed to it," Bank said in an interview Tuesday.
A BlackBerry Convert
Bank currently owns a BlackBerry, but has grown dissatisfied with its user experience, such as the challenging experience of trying to use Google maps. His primary use for his smartphone, other than making calls, is to type, he says.
It wasn't until the past year or so that he saw that his friend who owned an iPhone could type just as fast as he could on his BlackBerry when the two held a race.
"I realized I should consider it and see what new features were coming out," Bank says.
And so, just before midnight, he pitched a tent on the sidewalk outside Apple's door. He notes he can accommodate a renter in his two-man tent and has a chair reserving the No.1 spot.
"Some people say I'll have no problem renting the space, and some say I'll get way beyond the cost of an iPhone," says Bank, "I don't know. We'll have to see."
[Check DailyFinance for an update on Bank's second day on the street.]
For Sale: Front of the iPhone 4 Line in San Francisco