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Varying accounts report modest lines for Apple's Verizon iPhone 4

post #1 of 99
Thread Starter 
Lines of customers looking to buy Apple's new Verizon iPhone 4 were contrastingly profiled as either noteworthy or "laughably short," but a smattering of anecdotal reports largely suggest smaller crowds than for the debut of the iPhone 4 last year.

Lines for the highly anticipated handset may have been shortened by the fact that the Verizon iPhone 4 is, aside from its internal CDMA radio, the same phone that was released last year on AT&T's network. There's also the fact that Apple and Verizon took preorders from existing customers a week ago, and allowed online ordering for the masses on Wednesday.

And then there is the extremely cold weather currently in many cities, as noted by Dan Frommer of Silicon Alley Insider. He also portrayed some of the lines for the Verizon iPhone 4 as "laughably short."

Similarly, a story by CNN declared that "few customers" were in line for the Verizon iPhone. It noted that eight people were in line at Apple's flagship Fifth Avenue store in New York City, while down the street about a dozen people waited at a Verizon Wireless store.

But while lines were short on Fifth Avenue, The Wall Street Journal noted they were much longer in other locations. For example, about 40 people were outside of a Verizon Wireless store in Hoboken, N.J.

A line of about 20 customers stands outsize Louisville, Ken., Verizon store Thursday morning. Photo via Flickr user jasonhiner.

Of course, initial lines for a product are not necessarily a great indicator of success. Last April, The Wall Street Journal characterized lines for the iPad launch as "thin." Apple's touchscreen tablet went on to have a strong launch and sales hit a million in less than a month.

Expectations for the Verizon iPhone are high, as Apple's best-selling handset is now available on a carrier other than AT&T in the U.S. for the first time. Analyst Mike Abramsky with RBC Capital Markets has forecast that more than a million Verizon iPhone 4 handsets will be sold in the first week.
post #2 of 99
Maybe a different psychological profile in these buyers. Not Apple fans per se so less inclined to line up at a launch event. I guess most are buying on line.
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post #3 of 99
Or maybe it's Thursday and most people work?
post #4 of 99
I am super happy the the iPhone came to Verizon but for me personally, I am holding off my purchase until the iPhone 5 comes out. Can't wait for that!
post #5 of 99
Perhaps most of the people that were chomping at the bit for one already have theirs; I got mine on Monday.
post #6 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by studiomusic View Post

Or maybe it's Thursday and most people work?

The iPhone 4 was released on a Thursday in June. I remember calling in sick and missing the first inning of an afternoon ballgame due to standing in line
post #7 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Maybe a different psychological profile in these buyers. Not Apple fans per se so less inclined to line up at a launch event. I guess most are buying on line.

I'm sure there is something to that as those that really wanted the iPhobe went to AT&T, bur we need to consider that Verizon isn't offering an early upgrade like AT&T does.
post #8 of 99
Maybe, just maybe, the reason there are no lines is that there is much less demand for a Verizon iPhone than expected. Weather is not a factor...we see people line up each Christmas outside many stores. Here are some real reasons:

-iPhone 5 around the corner.
-Most people are actually happy with AT&T.
-Verizon has fewer features, less speed.
-NY Media Centric Hype overstated demand.
post #9 of 99
The consensus I'm getting from the Verizon customers that I know is they will wait for the iPhone 5 because there is no clear upgrade path from iPhone4 to iPhone5. And according to them, the fact that Verizon now has the iPhone, the thought of renewing for an Android phone is no longer a consideration.
post #10 of 99
You have to figure that

1) Loads of people are waiting to see if the iPhone 5 will be on both carriers on day 1.
2) Loads of Verizon customers are currently locked in to smartphone contracts and are not yet eligible for an upgrade.
3) Loads of AT&T customers are currently locked in to smartphone contracts (iPhone contracts) with AT&T and don't want the cost of switching carriers.

That's a lot of loads.

Then you figure that a majority of the people that were interested as VZ customers, already ordered online a week ago and the only people that would need to line up today are those that are ready to dump their current carrier.
post #11 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by noexpectations View Post

Maybe, just maybe, the reason there are no lines is that there is much less demand for a Verizon iPhone than expected. Weather is not a factor...we see people line up each Christmas outside many stores. Here are some real reasons:

-iPhone 5 around the corner.
-Most people are actually happy with AT&T.
-Verizon has fewer features, less speed.
-NY Media Centric Hype overstated demand.

Or maybe the media is putting their usual spin on things to whip up support for shareholders. If the viPhone is a hot seller, buy Verizon stock. If the turnout is lame, go back to AT&T stock.

As for me, I could care less that the rest of the world does. I got mine and I'm delighted. Thanks Steve, get well soon.
post #12 of 99
I was kinda disappointed that Verizon's family plan for 2 lines is $90 as opposed to $55 for AT&T.
Data charge is same. So my costs go up by about $40 on switching!
If costs were same I would have ordered yesterday.
post #13 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerseymac View Post

Or maybe the media is putting their usual spin on things to whip up support for shareholders. If the viPhone is a hot seller, buy Verizon stock. If the turnout is lame, go back to AT&T stock.

As for me, I could care less that the rest of the world does. I got mine and I'm delighted. Thanks Steve, get well soon.

I 'couldn't care less' about AT&T or Verizon stock, I just want AAPL stock to hit 400 soon. Then, I am biased and admit it

So close to $360 at this moment I can taste it!
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post #14 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by gauravchak View Post

I was kinda disappointed that Verizon's family plan for 2 lines is $90 as opposed to $55 for AT&T.
Data charge is same. So my costs go up by about $40 on switching!
If costs were same I would have ordered yesterday.

Just out of curiosity, were you thinking of switching due to being in one of the poorer AT&T coverage areas or some other reason?
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post #15 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Logisticaldron View Post

I'm sure there is something to that as those that really wanted the iPhobe went to AT&T, bur we need to consider that Verizon isn't offering an early upgrade like AT&T does.

Yep, probably a combination of both. Hopefully on line sales will be high.
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post #16 of 99
Who wants to stand in line during the freezing ass cold!!
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post #17 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post

Who wants to stand in a line during the freezing ass cold!!

Then there is that ...
(I forget living in FL)
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post #18 of 99
It is funny because in-store sales and total sales will be several times any Android phone launch. The iPhone 4 is over 7 months old, and people call that laughable. It is laughable, but no tin the way they intend.

It is patheti-sad for android how much longer these lines are than any device launched.
post #19 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by NextTechnocrati View Post

The consensus I'm getting from the Verizon customers that I know is they will wait for the iPhone 5 because there is no clear upgrade path from iPhone4 to iPhone5. And according to them, the fact that Verizon now has the iPhone, the thought of renewing for an Android phone is no longer a consideration.

That is very interesting. So a temporary freeze in sales for Verizon in the high end smart phone arena may result if this were wide spread. I am sure the great expectations would cause stocks to slide if this comes to pass. Hopefully though, you know more tech savvy or well informed users. I suspect the great unwashed hordes don't even know about iPhone 5 any more than they understand what 4G really is so sales will do OK (fingers crossed).
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post #20 of 99
I bet the month will not go by before Apple announces that iPhone 5 will not be coming on the normal date.

You can be sure that it would be unacceptable to Verizon if ATT would get their version a few months before them. And Apple would surely not make a new Verizon model that would only sell for a few months.

Other than the people screaming for it to come on the anniversary as always.
Apple has time. No competitors will outdo them in 6 or 8 months time.
post #21 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wovel View Post

It is funny because in-store sales and total sales will be several times any Android phone launch. The iPhone 4 is over 7 months old, and people call that laughable. It is laughable, but no tin the way they intend.

It is patheti-sad for android how much longer these lines are than any device launched.

I added all the missing letters and figured out what you said ... ... I agree (assuming I added the right letters!).
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post #22 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Logisticaldron View Post

I'm sure there is something to that as those that really wanted the iPhobe went to AT&T, bur we need to consider that Verizon isn't offering an early upgrade like AT&T does.

I agree with your point, but I wanted to say that your typo is a great shorthand description of an
Apple-hater: the iPhobe.
post #23 of 99
Still pretty good considering it's not really a new phone and it came out 8 months ago. You don't see any lines for new Android phones or any other phone.
post #24 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

I 'couldn't care less' about AT&T or Verizon stock, I just want AAPL stock to hit 400 soon. Then, I am biased and admit it

So close to $360 at this moment I can taste it!

Really? I thought any stock that makes money would be something to care about.
post #25 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by juandl View Post

I bet the month will not go by before Apple announces that iPhone 5 will not be coming on the normal date.

You can be sure that it would be unacceptable to Verizon if ATT would get their version a few months before them. And Apple would surely not make a new Verizon model that would only sell for a few months.

Other than the people screaming for it to come on the anniversary as always.
Apple has time. No competitors will outdo them in 6 or 8 months time.

http://www.appleinsider.com/articles..._baseband.html

There is no technical reason to delay iPhone5.
I believe Apple has been planning iPhone5 for both carriers since at least mid 2010, if not a lot sooner.
post #26 of 99
If reports that they have already sold 1M online are true, this is insignificant. Hardcore fans already all have it.
post #27 of 99
it's really pathetic how hard people try to find an angle where they can disparage the iPhone. Has it not proven itself enough yet?
post #28 of 99
Just curious. What new feature is the iPhone 5 supposed to have that is worth waiting for? The display has more resolution then humans can perceive.

Is it 1080P video? Better camera? More storage?

Apple is pretty good at reinventing the wheel every now and again, but what hot new feature is rumored to be forthcoming that is worth holding out for?

I'm getting the viPhone 4 right now because it has one terrific new feature. The ability to make phone calls.
post #29 of 99
Apple has never launched an iphone in the middle of the winter, I might add the coldest and snowiest one we have had in a decade.

Smart people like me bought it on line.

and waited on no line!

haha theres a thought for you all!
post #30 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wovel View Post

It is patheti-sad for android how much longer these lines are than any device launched.

I think it's pathetic for anyone to wait in line for the launch of any electronics device.
post #31 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wovel View Post

It is funny because in-store sales and total sales will be several times any Android phone launch. The iPhone 4 is over 7 months old, and people call that laughable. It is laughable, but no tin the way they intend.

It is patheti-sad for android how much longer these lines are than any device launched.

You might have a point if the iPhone 4 wasn't Apple's only phone. How many models of Android phones are on the market? The only meaningful comparison is how many iOS phones are sold compared to Android phones.

Unless things pick up a lot today, Apple and Verizon can only view what's being reported as a failure. Both companies will try to spin it otherwise, but they must be very disappointed at what seems to be a lackluster event.

Time to ditch Apple stock folks. The boom times are coming to a close. If you believe otherwise, I just hope you're not risking your retirement or you kids college education on it.
post #32 of 99
An underreported part of the story would be the demand from areas that currently do not have AT&T service (i.e., the Dakotas, Montana, and Wyoming).

Rather predictable that some in the tech press are already spinning it as a failed launch because the lines are shorter than last year, when the iPhone 4 was actually a brand new product. Of course, these are probably some of the same hacks who were calling the iPad a failure at launch.

I suspect that a lot of the existing Verizon customers already pre-ordered, which leaves new customers and disgruntled AT&T users to line up at stores. And I think that latter group is a lot smaller than most tech writers think. With so much of the tech press based out of NY and SF, two of AT&T's worst coverage areas, they're presuming that their own anecdotal observations must apply to everybody else.

Of course, this kind of myopic projection by a bunch of jaded techies is nothing new. To them, everything is either hyped as the second coming, or derided as obsolete. Drawing broad market conclusions based on a handful of reports about 7am lineups is all too indicative of the depth (or lack thereof) of their analysis.

Apple will do just fine. Last year, the first day sales for the iPhone 4 (including pre-orders) totaled 1.5 million. They sold about 45 million iPhones the rest of the year. I suspect that Verizon will trend similarly, with a spike in sales at the intro and steady sales throughout the rest of the year.

iPhones will get picked up as existing Verizon users' contracts expire. These are the customers that currently use Blackberrys (two years ago, BBs made up 95% of Verizon's smartphone sales). Over the past year, they were trading their Blackberrys in for Android phones. Now, they'll have another option, and that's where Apple's iPhone pickups will occur. Yes, Verizon will get some defections from AT&T, but as I said, I don't think it will be as many as the NY and SF-based writers and analysts think.
post #33 of 99
This is really simple folks...

1) Verizon has already had 2 online launches before this.
2) Sales are spread between Apple/Verizon/Best Buy/Walmart
3) The hardcore Apple fans are probably on ATT already
4) People found out about this 1 month ago. They are still waiting to get done with their 2 year contracts to upgrade (even the original iPhone had a 6 month warning, so folks whose contracts were ending in the 6 months preceding the launch could wait for it. For the iPhone 4, ATT allowed some folks to upgrade early, allowing people who once again, fell into a 6 month window to upgrade...besides, people knew the iPhone 4 was coming out then).
5) Most are waiting for iPhone 5.
6) 1 month after the holiday season is not really the best time to release a product. Most have just got done spending significant sums of money, and are likely to scale back a bit.
post #34 of 99
I got the original Droid on release day at 7am and the line had like 30 people in it at least. I never would have imagined an apple launch would get less turnout than an android launch, for any reason.


yeah I know thats just one store, but Pittsburgh vs New York? come on.
post #35 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerseymac View Post

Just curious. What new feature is the iPhone 5 supposed to have that is worth waiting for? ...

Near field communication capability.

The current iPhone is a great phone, no doubt, but I suspect that the iPhone 5 will be even better and you might regret not waiting for it. Then again if you get a lot of dropped calls, its hard to wait.
post #36 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerseymac View Post

Really? I thought any stock that makes money would be something to care about.

I only quoted myself to be clear that I meant 'didn't care' (I couldn't care less = don't care) about AT&T and Verizon.

http://incompetech.com/gallimaufry/care_less.html
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post #37 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by addicted44 View Post

This is really simple folks...

1) Verizon has already had 2 online launches before this.
2) Sales are spread between Apple/Verizon/Best Buy/Walmart
3) The hardcore Apple fans are probably on ATT already
4) People found out about this 1 month ago. They are still waiting to get done with their 2 year contracts to upgrade (even the original iPhone had a 6 month warning, so folks whose contracts were ending in the 6 months preceding the launch could wait for it. For the iPhone 4, ATT allowed some folks to upgrade early, allowing people who once again, fell into a 6 month window to upgrade...besides, people knew the iPhone 4 was coming out then).
5) Most are waiting for iPhone 5.
6) 1 month after the holiday season is not really the best time to release a product. Most have just got done spending significant sums of money, and are likely to scale back a bit.

Exactly. IMHO, this is the way to do a launch...
post #38 of 99
Do we have some vested interest in how many people line up in front of a Verizon store? Apple is doomed because the lines are shorter than anticipated? I'm sure the hater/trolls are sharpening their schadenfreude drenched claws to declare the Verizon iPhone launch an EPIC FAIL. But what does it really mean other than the numerous possibilities hinted at by others. Instant surveys seem to indicate that RIM, not at&t, is taking the hits right now.
post #39 of 99
Or could it be that they are rolling it out to their current customers first and that there are limited supplies and maybe Verzions customers know that.

So maybe, they are smart and not waiting in line for a product that is not available.

Just saying.
post #40 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdg1019 View Post

Unless things pick up a lot today, Apple and Verizon can only view what's being reported as a failure. Both companies will try to spin it otherwise, but they must be very disappointed at what seems to be a lackluster event.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha
What a lame attempt at trolling.

You are aware that today wasn't "an event" at all? Something that doesn't exist can't fail. Except perhaps in the eyes of haters like you.
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