Russian Man Is First in Line to Buy New iPhone, Becomes Epic Meme Instead

A man named Valery recently became the star of what may very well be the most epic fail in the history of iPhone launches. After becoming the first person in a monstrously long queue to set foot inside the Apple store in Moscow to buy an iPhone XS, he left empty-handed because he couldn’t afford to buy it.

On the morning of September 28, the Apple store in Moscow finally opened its doors to the crowd of people that had been lining up outside for over 24 hours to buy the new iPhone XS and XS Max. Apple fans have been queuing up for new iPhone launches all around the world for years now, but what made this particular event special was the amount of fail involved. For one thing, the first eight people at the head of the giant queue evaporated minutes before the store opened. It turns out they had never planned on buying a phone, hoping to sell their places in line for absurd amounts of money, instead. But they were actually the smart ones, because the ninth guy planned to do the same thing, only he didn’t have the brains to bail before the doors opened.

Photo: aykapog/Pixabay

Russian media reported that the first person in line at the Moscow Apple store tried selling their place online for a whopping 500,000 rubles ($7,621), but tore his ticket in half at the door after failing to find a buyer. Another person who had been camping outside the store for several days told reporters that he had tried selling their place in line for 400,000 rubles ($6,100), but also left home empty handed. In fact, the first eight people in line on September 28 turned out to be speculators hoping to make a killing by selling their places in the huge queue. And then it was Valery’s turn, and he definitely made it count…

Valery was ninth in the queue, but since the first eight disappeared before the Apple store opened, he actually was the first one to be granted access into the store, and he made quite an entrance. He was all smiles as he saluted the cheering staff and crowd of reporters waiting inside, but then he started using his cap to hide his face, and it became apparent that something was wrong.


It turned out that Valery, like the eight people ahead of him in the queue, never planned on actually buying a new iPhone. He told reporters that he had bought his place in line early for 50,000 rubles ($762) and hoped to make a profit by selling to someone else before the launch. Things didn’t really work out as planned though, and instead of leaving like the other would-be resellers, he stuck around. Only he didn’t have enough money to buy an iPhone XS or XS Max, so after entertaining reporters and store staff, he reportedly went home empty-handed.

As you can imagine, Russian social-media has been having a field day at Valery’s expense. There are memes, gyphs and short clips of him currently doing the rounds online and his story is yet to go viral in the western world, although it’s just a matter of time.


Valery may have missed his chance to make some quick money, but I wouldn’t say he wasted 50,000 rubles. After all, that money did buy him online immortality as a meme. That’s gotta be worth something.

The first man to actually buy an iPhone at the Moscow launch, on September 28, was Anatoly, who told reporters that he had only got in line two and a half hours before the store opened. He got a 512 gb iPhone XS, in case you were wondering. Can you imagine how many people must have hoped to sell their place in line, if the guy who got a ticket 2.5 hours before opening was the first one through?


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