PASADENA (CBSLA.com/AP) — Several homeless people Friday were being paid to stand in line for the release of the iPhone 5C and 5S.
The phones went on sale at Apple and other retail stores at 8 a.m.
Pasadena police told KNX 1070′s Jon Baird that many people in line at the Colorado Boulevard store were recruited from downtown Los Angeles.
“I was asked yesterday if I would be willing to sit in line for someone so they could get a phone. I said, ‘Sure, I’ve got nothing else to do.’ So I’m here,” said Mickie, who was driven to Pasadena, along with 10 others.
It was unclear how much Mickie was being compensated, however. Others said they were being paid as little as $35 to wait in line for hours.
Vouchers were given out to those who were in line by 6 a.m
“They dropped us, sit in line, get the vouchers and then we’ll be paid,” she added.
“The phones are for me and I have a company that resells them,” a man, who paid each homeless person $20 per voucher, said. The unidentified entrepreneur said he then sells the phones overseas for approximately $1,000 each.
Two men were arrested by Pasadena police for fighting in public over the vouchers, but it was mostly peaceful for the rest of the crowd.
“It’s just something you need to have,” said fan Francisco Naranjo, who began camping outside of the Pasadena store on Sunday night.
The iPhone 5C is now available in five colors — green, blue, yellow, pink and white.
CEO Tim Cook calls it “more fun and colorful” than any other iPhone. The 5C has a 4-inch Retina display and is powered by Apple’s A6 chip. It also has an 8 megapixel camera, live photo filters and a rear cover that lights up.
The iPhone 5C costs $99 for a 16-gigabyte model and $199 for a 32-gigabyte model with a two-year wireless contract.
The company also released a more expensive model, the iPhone 5S, in three colors — black, silver and gold. The device ranges from $199 to $399, depending on the amount of memory.
“It has a new fingerprint reader so it’s going to be able to lock your phone and other features. It’s going to have a faster processor, it’s going to be a faster phone,” Naranjo said.
The new phones were available online at 12:01 a.m.
(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)