I think y/y line growth is an even more pointless metric than sales...
... and I'm not even paid to come up with this.
Why? Because everyone in the line is buying as many as they are allowed and punting them off to ebay.
And as the method becomes more "guaranteed to make a fiver, mate" y/y, it just gets more popular... y/y.
It is merely a measure of the desperation to make a quick buck of the first few hundred in the line.
And there I was thinking it was all hipsters, your typical "creative types" and "organic-only" baristas.
Here in Japan, I nipped to the local Yodobashi in Akihabara on Friday morning. There were about 100 people in the queue. Nearly all Japanese, mostly females. I spoke to a few while we were waiting and they all said they just wanted to upgrade from 4S / 5 for themselves or their husband... I was the only one of about twenty people I talked to who actually had a 5S...
I had a chat with the shop bloke and he said that the prodigious mountain of phones "to the right"... were prebooked and they would be picked up this evening by customers returning from work. The somewhat smaller mountain "to the left" was to be sold on the day.
As it happened, they didn't run out of stock until Tuesday evening. Even the plus didn't run out until the tuesday morning, apparently.
It was a very muted reaction. The staff were more excited (no doubt scripted) than the people waiting.