Manhattan —

Hundreds of eager customers spent days waiting in line to be among the first to buy Apple’s iPhone 5 – but the lure might be more about status than a love of gadgets. A recent study suggests buying popular items, such as the latest iPhone, plays a role in establishing social identity.

Despite mixed reviews, the demand for the iPhone 5 appears as strong as it was for previous models. Prices range from $199, with a mandatory two-year contract, to nearly $700 without one.