Are you nuts? Why crowds line up for iPhones: Psychiatrist

Apple a pop culture phenomenon: Psychiatrist

What is it that makes people stand in long lines outside Apple stores to get their hands on a new iPhone? According to psychiatrist Daniel Bober, the tech giant has created a pop culture phenomenon that is less about the product and more about the name. Plus, he said, it makes people feel hip.

Apple has "created this psychology of scarcity where demand outstrips supply and so as a result people have this almost desperation to get their hands on it," Bober said Friday in an interview with CNBC's "Closing Bell."

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Customers line up to enter the Fifth Avenue Apple Store to purchase the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in New York, Sept. 19, 2014.
Bilgin S. Sasmaz | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

People turned out in record numbers outside Apple stores to get their hands on the new iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus, which officially went on sale Friday. In New York, 1,880 people were in line at the company's flagship store at 8 a.m. Friday. Some had been waiting for days.

While some may question the sanity of those who park themselves outside an Apple store to get the new phone, Bober said waiting in line is also a social experience.

"There's this collective reinforcement where sure you are waiting on a long line, but you are hanging out with other people who are buying the Apple iPhone and that's really cool," he said. "It makes them feel like they belong and they are part of the in-crowd."

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