Los Angeles homeless hired to stand in line at Apple Retail Store to buy latest iPhones

“A businessman scheming to get his profit-minded hands on dozens of new iPhones allegedly recruited about 100 homeless people from Skid Row in Los Angeles to wait in line overnight at the Pasadena Apple Store, but many were left unpaid and stranded after his plan was exposed, local media reported Friday,” Michael Winter reports for USA Today.

“The unidentified reseller had offered $40 to each hired hand who bought an iPhone for him, which he bragged about to others in the line of about 200 people, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reported,” Winter reports. “When they learned of the scheme, store personnel stopped selling the latest iPhone models to the homeless stand-ins.”

Winter reports, “An agitated crowd surrounded the man when he announced he wouldn’t pay anyone who had not bought a phone, and police officers had to escort him away — several new models in hand — for his protection about 9 a.m., Lt. Jason Clawson said. He said Pasadena police were not investigating, calling it ‘a business issue.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It’s also an issue of morals, as in lack thereof.

We have no problem with providing employment to the unemployed, but “two iPhones per customer” means just that. Not 100.


  1. I don’t know what to think of this. This is a very low thing to do…but it is also a testament to Apple’s popularity ever since the iMac in 1998. Has anyone ever done this with a MS Zune, or a Samsung Galaxy? I don’t think so.

    1. This has nothing to do with Apple. This is a shameless act by a prick. The police should’ve walked away and let the homeless beat him senseless. But don’t interject your fanboy need to include Apple into everything in this situation. That too is shameless. And unconscionable. And idiotic even for fanboys. This has absolutely nothing to do with Apple. Stop it. Stop it now!

      1. @GM – Since when is a person not allowed to stand in line, buy an iPhone and sell it to someone else?  Over the years, millions of iPhones have been bought by Chinese-Americans standing in line, buying iPhones and shipping them to China.  Some buy iPhones on the first day, then re-sell them on eBay. 

        Is this a right shared by everyone on earth except homeless Americans?

      2. Actually, it has a lot to do with Apple. There are a lot of “pricks” all around at any places, but they did not care to act that way in relation to any Samsung’s or Microsoft’s products.

        1. Stan : Yes, you can certainly stand in line. My comment,obviously, was about taking advantage of the homeless. As in not paying them. And you clearly understood that. So your comment is disingenuous at best.

          DeRS : how the hell would you know if homeless people were taken advantage of by pricks in relation to Samsung or Microsoft products? The answer is that you don’t know. So just another self indulged fanboy trying to get some attention. Hasn’t got a fucking thing to do with Apple.

          1. “how the hell would you know if homeless people were taken advantage of by pricks in relation to Samsung or Microsoft products?”

            There are many cases of “pricks” acting on Apple products and none regarding to a Samsung product. It does not mean that the latter is impossible, but whole situation is telling. And by being in denial you show how much a self indulged fanboy (trying to get attention) you are.

            1. “There are many cases of pricks acting on Apple products and none regarding to a Samsung product.” Really? You keep track of these reports? Please feel free to list examples. With dates and credible evidence. Denial? I’m the one who said who knows if Samsung and Microsoft products have been affected also. Jeez! Idiot!

  2. Wait, isn’t a Democrat in the White House currently? That means there are no homeless. Or, to be exact, there is no mention of the homeless in any mainstream media outlets. This Michael Winter of the USA Today needs to read the Progressive handbook. The homeless stories are only to be used (daily) when there is an “uncaring, mean” Republican in the White House.

    Oh, by the way:

    The difference between America’s median and average wages grew at a rate of 0.28 percent under President Bush, while it’s grown at a rate of 1.14 percent — or about four times that — under Obama.

    In Obama’s America the rich are gaining while the rest of us are struggling to get by. The wealthy took home a greater share of the nation’s income during the years following the recession, under Obama, than between 2002 and 2007, under Bush.

    There are twice as many estimated homeless in the country today than during the Reagan administration – during which you couldn’t turn on the nightly news without grim “homeless updates.” It was basically a regular nightly report by Dan Rather on the “CBS Evening News.” Under Obama, not a peep.

    Double standard.

    Why isn’t the media talking about the homeless under President Obama? Why aren’t the so-called “caring” Lib/Progs? Do they suddenly all no longer care about the homeless? Or are the homeless merely a convenient political tool to Democrats, to be ignored or exploited based on which party is in office?

    1. The total lack of “homeless” stories during a Democrat admin vs. the plethora of “homeless” stories during a Republican admin is one of the clearest expositions of Liberal Media Bias in the U.S.’s hopelessly broken media system.

      Anyone who says there is no Liberal Media Bias in the U.S. mainstream media is either blind, too young to know any better (or anything), or a pitiful fool.

    2. I thought this was Mac Daily News, not World Daily News. I come here to get away from the world’s problems, not suffer through it. But I will agree with hypocrisy. In 2003, everyone was bashing Bush for Iraq. Now, you can’t say a single thing about Obama’s plans for Syria. If these Democrats can dish out FUD for then president Bush, then they deserve to expect criticism when Obama makes some blatant mistakes. Now back to our regularly scheduled Mac programming…

      1. Well, well; Christo. Since the proper response to “bad” speech is “better” speech, let me discuss your post.

        You started out with a complaint about how this website isn’t the “World Daily News”—suggesting that it should be more focused on Apple-related news (as if an article about cheating in an iPhone queue isn’t isn’t germane to “Apple” and “news”).

        What do you do next? You troll on with provocative stuff regarding Obama, Bush, Iraq, Democrats, and Syria.

        That amounts to hiding behind the apron strings Mommy after criticizing the apron.

        Please troll elsewhere.

        1. Hey, I was only humoring him. Besides, he obviously was asking for it. I gave him what he wanted. I’ll admit, that was a mistake because that is known as “feeding the troll”, so I admit a mistake on my part. But my point still stands: If I wanted info on Syria, Obama, Detroit, shootings, or any of that, I would go to my favorite news source.

      2. “I thought this was Mac Daily News, not World Daily News. I come here to get away from the world’s problems, not suffer through it.”

        Sorry to confront you with some truth. Go watch ABC/NBC/CBS if you want to be bathed in warm groupthink.

        As for the rest of your comment, thanks.

    3. For Pete’s sake this a mac tech site. I’m going to stop coming due to A holes like you. At this very moment,second I as a republican can stop thinking about Obama. Every f$&king thing does not revolve around this president. Before you start making out with your hill billy boyfriend do you start talking about the president?

      1. You’re comprehension skills are sorely lacking. If you really read the comments here at MDN you will realize that it quit being a Mac tech site long ago. People, and low life trolls, just use Apple as an excuse to come here and rant and insult each other. This is definitely not the Mac Daily News of old, where there were real tech discussions and usually intelligent discourse.

        1. “This is definitely not the Mac Daily News of old, where there were real tech discussions and usually intelligent discourse.”

          Ah those were good days, so much harmony. Thanks for that lovely reminder.

        2. Aside from the abuse (unnecessary, as F U and you are essentially making the same point), I agree with you. Although its’ probably bad form to hanker after the “good ol’ days” that probably never were, I do seem to recall a time when MDN was dominated by passionate, and often humorous, threads about Mac software, hardware, peripherals, and rumours, further enlivened by vitriolic interjections from Shoeman the Abuser, and the whinings of Peterson (he/she of the Bad Experience).

          In fairness, the site retains some of its early flavour. There are periodic visits from Chrissy One, and there are newer posters such as PreDrag who largely keeps on topic, and hannahjs whose wordy musings add interest.

          Others, including Ampar the punster, were driven away by the political crap, and I wonder if the same fate befell Zune Tang, whose tongue-in-cheek (if somewhat formulaic) fishing occasionally added seasoning.

          But all too often, it seems that no excuse is needed for someone to randomly insert a provocative political jibe into the thread, and presumably sit back, and watch it veer off course. Some simply enter the room, fart, depart, and leave the thread with a lingering smell.

          MDN makes token noises about off-topic posts being deleted, but they clearly welcome political variants. In part, this is because they increase traffic, with the obvious potential benefits to income generation.

          I’ve made this comment before, that it’s fine for MDN to position itself as the Wild Party of Mac News Sites. However, in my view, there should be some limits on the amount of political junk posters can bring to it, or the site risks self-poisoning.

          I haven’t given up on MDN, but I increasingly find myself sifting through Macsurfer for Mac news, and heading for properly moderated sites like 9to5mac for user opinions. I know it’s a futile plea, but I wish posters who can’t resist the urge to express their left or right-wing stances on American politics would take them to topix, where they can scratch their various itches to their hearts’ content.

          Hmmm, Micro Me (who is aware he’s off-topic himself) is getting wound up here. Time to mow the lawn.

      1. It’s not what I “think.” It’s what I know. I simply laid out the facts. Look them up. They are facts. If the truth makes you uncomfortable, that’s your problem, not mine.

        1. Let’s see. You…

          1) Make a provocative post.
          2) Log in again using a different avatar to respond to yourself with a “Here-here; I agree / well done / Bravo!” accolade.
          3) Then use every trick in the book to give yourself gobs of five-star votes.

          It’s transparent and makes you look like a fool.

    4. As for you “First 2014, Then 2016” and “Sick of America in 2013” (who are one in the same):

      1) No one here gives a holy dump about what you think about non-Apple-related issues.

      2) Please desist with that horsecrap stunt of responding to your own posts with “Here–here; I agree” alternative avatars and then using every trick in the book to give five-star votes. Don’t you realize how pathetic that looks?

      1. I am definitely not “Sick of America in 2013.” I have high hopes for this country once the current wrongheaded administration is finally kaput.

        Do you dispute my point, that the homeless are not reported on by a complicit media under a Democrat, yet the homeless are exploited by the left-leaning media under a Republican President?

        If so, I’d love to hear your evidence.

        1. No one here is going to entertain you and give a troll more jollies. Your posts are nothing more than spray-painted graffiti on a store owner’s brick wall: it accomplishes nothing more than pronouncing that “Looser was here.”

          Moreover, I long ago learned ” rel=”nofollow”>the Golden Rule©™®


      2. If you are assuming I am one of “First 2014″‘s alternative accounts, I’m not. I post Apple specific comments in their respective articles…as well as the occasional anti-M$ joke. I was simply trying to humor him. That is all.

    5. “In Obama’s America the rich are gaining while the rest of us are struggling to get by.”

      Income inequality was steadily increasing before Obama took office. Many of the economic issue that you blame on Obama were also bad and deteriorating during the Bush administration. Of course, one major difference was that Obama took office during a near depression that, because of partisan politics, was addressed with a much-too-small stimulus, followed by a focus on cutting the budget deficit instead of ways to create jobs. Who lead the way on that misguided direction? The GOP.

      Actually, liberals and progressives do care about these issues and want to find solutions. Standing in their way is the GOP bent on opposing anything other than cutting all entitlement programs to the bone, eg the proposal to wildly cut SNAP funding. In the liberal/progressive blogosphere, I regularly read about the problems and of poor in our nation.

  3. Why isn’t the media talking about the homeless under President Obama? Why aren’t the so-called “caring” Lib/Progs? Do they suddenly all no longer care about the homeless?

    Because the Democrats/Liberals/Progressives and their lapdog media are corrupt fscking hypocrites, that’s why.

  4. I’m not a big fan of Obama, but you act as if he personally ran over your pet. Please, keep your rants over to political sites like HuffPo, or Fox News. Please. Just because the site has the word “news” in its name doesn’t mean you can comment on any news story.

    1. Make no mistake: The reason that a handful of leftists here are upset is because they cannot refudiate my original post, that the homeless are not reported on by a complicit media under a Democrat, yet the homeless are exploited by the left-leaning media under a Republican President.

      Therefore, the incensed leftists attempt to obfuscate and change the subject. Typical weak Alinsky tactics which is about the only thing Obama and his ilk understand.

      1. Please understand that we have learned to ignore you, Fwhatever. I just don’t waste my time responding to your every post. You repeat the same ideas ad nauseum, you are fixated on your sense of rightness with no room for compromise, and you seem to feel that you are vindicated when people get tired of responding to you crap.

        You are truly a sad, twisted man…and I don’t mean that in a small way. I mean that in a big way. You are irrelevant to me.

  5. As the article said, there is nothing illegal about it, although there could possibly some obscure law to scrutinize. Nonetheless it is a pretty low thing to do and such lovely repercussions.

    For example the poly tick comment of First then who as per usual cannot stand living in the past (shades of Zune Thang FUDding the place with that just you wait and the points, oh those Microsoft Zune points) but in typical American style has to pump up the superego and try to hijack the topic by relating the supposedly lack of homeless due to the government that’s in power. There it goes, a tangent totally freaking unrelated to the issue at hand.

    Yes people of the free world, remember the three rules that Americans use for debating:

    1. Insult the messenger.
    2. Avoid the issue by going off on a tangent.
    3. Never, ever under any circumstances address the issue at hand.

    Of course anyone with more than a hand full of synapses firing would realize there has been during no time in human history, no government that has ruled where anyone has been truly homeless. This planet is home, and it’s been like that well before the demoncrats and repubicans (sorry I can’t tell the difference, all you politically jerking off puds looks alike to me) came along. Houseless perhaps, I think that’s what many mean by homeless. If that is the case, then even an American ASSHOLE such as fluctuating years could realize that during all time in human history, every government that has ruled has had those that have been houseless. That is if that huge massive ever expanding American megaego wasn’t in the way.

    Enough of that though, what I really found interesting in the article, the real kicker so to speak is the reaction of the Apple store employees: “When they learned of the scheme, store personnel stopped selling the latest iPhone models to the homeless stand-ins.”

    What a great example of political correctness, punish everyone for something that one idiot did. That’s the thing about making something fool proof, you just allow more fools to be born. So with one fell swoop bingo, no homeless stand-ins will be sold an iPhone. Of course if another “shrewd” business person hired stand-ins that do have homes (or a place of residence), well that would be different. You only want to discriminate against the homeless, seeing that being a stand-in is such a valid and respected field of work.

    It’s so refreshing to read such great stuff, it’s so much better than what the Anustralians have to offer. Keep up the great work America, you don’t lead the world in stupidity but by gosh your close.

    1. Just one correction, my friend—it’s still “KILL the messenger.” Unless there’s a new kindler, gentler PC version in which he is only maimed, or (in California only) simply embarrassed.

      1. Thanks for your reply and while technically you are correct with the intent to “kill the messenger” if I recall correctly every since Americans have installed the “aim for Bin Ladden hit Saddam Hussein” guidance system on all their weapons it’s been a game of miss miss miss miss miss miss reload so the end result is still considered an insult to the messenger.

        Mind you with all that shooting Americans are more than capable of hitting hitting the messenger, usually after a high death toll of innocent bystanders are out of the way.

        I guess if you want to be really technical about it the intent would be to “kill the messenger and anyone who was around to listen and a few others just cause the store had extra bullets on sale.”

    2. He broke his verbal contract with the homeless. They stood in line and were prepared to honor their responsibilities. He shot off his mouth to proclaim his “brilliance” and caused the Apple Store manager to deny this circumvention of their rules. As a direct result of the prick’s actions, the homeless were prevented from fulfilling the contract. Thus, the prick owes them.

  6. It seems to me that these homeless would have needed to be given the money with which to buy the phones, and given the lack of credit worthiness inherent with the condition of homelessnes, it’s safe to presume they were buying unlocked phones. The cheapest unlocked iPhone 5s is $649 tax, which would bring the total to just over $700. If the homeless were instructed to buy 2 phones, then that means each one of these homeless were outfitted with $1,400 with the promise of later being given $40.

    What I have to wonder is why said homeless didn’t just take the $1,400 and run?

  7. MDN, I have to agree with others’ comments. If I want political diatribe, no matter what side it’s on, I’ll go to political websites. I want Mac and Apple news, info and opinion, not political crap.

  8. Americans are funny first they all complain about the economy and how there is no jobs then a man try’s to help homeless people out and put money in their pockets and instead of making this a good story people talk bad about him what homeless people can’t make a honest buck what happened to land of the free I guess to make money u have to have a money so I guess it isn’t so free

    1. Yes, it is kind of funny, Carlos. At first, you think, here is a man hiring the unemployed to do day work, not too different from Roger Miller’s “King of the Road.” It seems inspirational, at first. Then you find out that the man is a scalper. That’s not so good.

      Gaming the system isn’t excused by nominally charitable acts. The other people standing in line were, essentially, “cut in” on, a rude act of a type that—let’s admit—has resulted in deaths on motorways due to road rage.

      1. What do u think everybody else in that line was doing nobody stands in line for hours just to buy a iPhone that looks just the same as the last one for there selfs u wouldn’t of even read about this guy unless the other people that were trying to buy and resale didnt tell on him

  9. This dickhead learned the hiring-stand-ins trick from CHINA. It happened last year and caused Apple to shut down a store and change their sales procedure to prevent it in the future.

    Yes, this is the CHINAFICATION of the USA, NOT vice versa. Surprise! And sick, IMHO.

    1. Do you have any evidence that this man had any connections to China at all? Why is there such a heavy Anti-Asian bias on this site. I know Samsung is located there, but are the borderline racist comments necessary? I have seen Anti-Jew, homophobic, and sexist comments removed, but not this. One person even made a racist comment about Sundar Pichai (who is Indian) I just don’t get it.

  10. Fuck em all. Good move, hire the stinking scum bags for a good use. To the others in line, take it up the ass. I’m going to do this exact plan all over and scalp stupid fucking dumb rich liberal kids out of their bleeding heart cheating daddies!

    1. Thanks for your insightful contribution, X.

      It’s SO great to read your illuminating thoughts, but also wonderful to read, with pleasure, your nuanced and clever use of the English language.

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