People lined up outside Verizon and Apple stores overnight to get the first version of the iPhone 4 to be offered in the U.S. by a carrier other than AT&T. This smartphone went on sale online last week, but today was its first appearance in retail locations.
Sales began at 7 am this morning, but many customers were there well before then, anticipating high demand and limited supplies -- the stock set aside for online pre-orders last week sold out in just 17 hours.
There was a line outside a typical Verizon store in a suburb near Atlanta, but it wasn't a big one: about 10 people were there when the doors opened.
The store manager would not say how many iPhone 4 units he had in stock, which is typical of Verizon's launch of Apple's smartphone. How many were sold thorough pre-orders last week has also not been announced.
The Beginning of a New Era
AT&T had an agreement with Apple to be the sole U.S. provider for the iPhone since its launch back in 2007, but a second carrier is now offering this very popular smartphone.
This is expected to significantly increase the number of customers using Apple's iOS, as Verizon has around 95 million subscribers. This should help Apple compete against Google's Android OS, which has become very widely used over the last year or so.
An Overview of the Apple iPhone 4
Verizon's and AT&T's versions of Apple's latest smartphone are virtually identical. They both run iOS 4.2 on the 1GHz Apple A4 processor.
No matter which carrier offers it, the iPhone 4 has a tablet shape with a 3.5-inch, 960 x 640 touchscreen.
Its rear-facing camera has a 5 megapixel resolution and an LCD flash. The front-facing camera allows for video conferencing.
The two carriers use incompatible cellular wireless networking standards, so an AT&T model can't be used on Verizon's network and vice versa. Still, both iPhone 4 models offer 3G speeds, as well as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS.
Like its rival AT&T, Verizon is offering two versions of this model: one with 16 GB of storage that sells for $200 with a two-year wireless service contract, while a 32 GB version goes for $300 with contract. These are the same prices AT&T charges.
Verizon is making a couple of special offers. Current customers who upgraded to a new smartphone during the holiday shopping season can get $200 off the cost of a new iPhone (read more details) or AT&T customers can trade-in their smartphone to defray some of the cost of a new Verizon model (read more details).
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