IC residents claim iPhones from Verizon


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For many locals, Thursday meant one thing: the chance to get their very own iPhone.

Verizon customers are now able to purchase the new gadgets, which had previously only been available through At&T.

University of Iowa freshman Cassie Blank arrived at the Verizon store in Coral Ridge Mall around 7:30 a.m. to obtain one of the popular phones. Nine Verizon employees dressed in red and black stood with clipboards waiting for anxious customers.

“I was really excited when I found out [Verizon] was coming out with the iPhone,” Blank said. “I told my parents I had to get it.”

She said she has been eligible for an upgrade since October but waited for the new iPhone to come out.

The Verizon iPhone costs roughly $200 for a 16 GB, $300 for a 32 GB.

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Kari Conway, retail store manager of the Verizon Coralville Strip and Coral Ridge Mall locations, said employees learned the company would come out with the phone Jan. 11. AT&T unveiled its newest model, the iPhone 4, in June 2010.

Though the official Verizon launch wasn’t until Thursday at 7 a.m., current customers could order the phone online on Feb. 3.

“We sold out of the orders within a few hours the first day,” Conway said.

But both Coralville locations still had phones in stock Thursday night.

“Verizon has a good customer portfolio. There are a lot of people who are loyal to Apple and excited about Verizon carrying the iPhone,” Conway said.

Though she did not know how many phones would be in stock, if they do sell out, customers can order them online, then come in to get it set up, she said.

Conway said she’s optimistic the phone will be received well.

“Verizon built the Apple iPhone from the ground up and will be ready to go,” she said.

UI freshman Hunter Watson was one of the lucky customers who ordered his iPhone early.

“I was really excited to get the iPhone, because you see it everywhere, and I was happy to know that I could get a phone that does not get bad service,” he said.

He had conducted a lot of research to find out when the Verizon iPhone would come out.

“They have been talking about it for forever,” he said. “I’ve been going on websites trying to see when it would come out.”

Not only students hit the stores early.

“I got here a little before 7 a.m., when they opened,” said 59-year-old Marc Freeman of Fairfield. “I just got here, and only one person was in front of me.”

Freeman has been a loyal Verizon customer for around five years, and he was excited to find out it was adding the iPhone.

“I’ve been waiting a long time for it [to come out],” he said of the phone, holding a package that said “Verizon” and looking excited.

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