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Friday, September 20, 2013, 02:24 pm PT (05:24 pm ET)

Samsung spies on iPhone launch lines to pierce Apple mystique

Samsung's commercials may make fun of Apple fans waiting in lines for the next iDevice, but the South Korean tech giant may not be above trying to figure out just what drives those fans to queue up hours and days in advance.


Customers line up outside Apple's flagship Fifth Avenue store. Thanks to AppleInsider reader Ryan.


As Apple fans lined up to get the new generation of iPhone, the Cupertino company's chief rival sent a video and photography crew to document the lines at Apple's flagship Fifth Avenue store in Manhattan. Their goal according to CNET: figuring out what had those customers so excited that they would stand in line for hours — even days — to be the first to get their hands on a new phone.

"Other companies release new phones, but there's not as much passion and heat," one Samsung operative said. "It's only Apple. Why? We're curious."



Reportedly, the crew only documented the scene in front of the Fifth Avenue store, occasionally asking line-sitters questions: "Is the line shorter or longer this year than last?" and "Is the crowd more excited or less excited than previous years?" The crew seemed most interested in whether Apple's "cool factor" was waning and the degree of loyalty among Apple fans.

CNET notes that the video group was not from Samsung's electronics arm; it was instead from the conglomerate's broadcasting segment, Samsung Broadcasting Center/Cheil Worldwide. That segment occasionally works with Samsung Electronics on projects, and both are divisions of the parent company Samsung Group, but there is so far no indication that the video documenting was done at the request of Samsung Electronics.

Apple and Samsung have been locked in bitter combat for years now for supremacy in the global smartphone market, both in terms of sales and in the courts. Combined, the two firms take in all of the industry's profits, with other manufacturers losing money or just breaking even.