Verizon iPhone launch celebrations begin; nobody shows up

verizon_iphone4_launch1

The long-awaited Verizon iPhone went on sale today to the mass public in retail stores across the United States today. Pre-orders for the phone began last week, which sold out on the first day with an estimated 250k units sold.

For the consumers that didn't get a chance to pre-order the phone through Verizon, they were able to purchase the phone starting this morning through Apple, Verizon and Best Buy. As part of the Apple tradition on welcoming the first customers into their stores, cheers began to rollout, but to an empty queue in front of the store.

When the iPhone 4 first went on sale, there were hour-long lines of eager consumers waiting to get their hands on the new device, but what happened to the Verizon iPhone launch?

At the Mall of America, the ropes were set to anticipate a few hundred people, but only two people actually showed up for the 6:30 AM launch. A sad day for Apple and Verizon, but perhaps a wonderful product launch for AT&T, who held the exclusive contract to carry the iPhone since its launch in 2007.

The Twincities.com blog managed to get some images and video of the Verizon iPhone launch:

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Everything Everywhere to open retail stores

Next Story

Microsoft improves Bing personalized search with two cool features

93 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

I know this is an old story, but too funny. Oh not the fact that the story and many commenters try to make ridiculous judgements about the lack of crowds in the Verizon stores (which are too stupid to even bother refuting) but rather the fact that many commenters apparently feel better about themselves because of this. How sad is that? The iPhone fails (not really, but that's what you're going with) and that makes you feel better? Remember that William Shatner skit on SNL where he mocked Trekkies???

This is the same exact thing that people are using to claim that WP7 is going to fail. I don't understand why no one gets it. Prior iPhone launches on AT&T were on a yearly schedule, so people were at that time ready to upgrade their phone. A launch like this, on a network where people already have devices, takes some time to get going. Same with WP7. People will purchase iPhones and WP7 devices when they are ready for a new phone, not immediately upon release...

It is funny, but when you stop and think about it for a second it's obvious why..

1) There will never be as much interest in an iPhone that comes out on a new network, 8 months after its' release date on another network, as there was when that iPhone first came out.
2) A lot of people are stuck in contracts already and don't want to pay the termination fees.
3) A lot of people will be holding out for the new iPhone in June.
4) The preorders sold out, so it looks like most of the people who were interested got it on preorder.

The thing that IS funny is that they clearly expected crouds

Inb4iPhonefanboy: I don't have an iPhone and probably never will.

Hardcore Til I Die said,
It is funny, but when you stop and think about it for a second it's obvious why..

1) There will never be as much interest in an iPhone that comes out on a new network, 8 months after its' release date on another network, as there was when that iPhone first came out.
2) A lot of people are stuck in contracts already and don't want to pay the termination fees.
3) A lot of people will be holding out for the new iPhone in June.
4) The preorders sold out, so it looks like most of the people who were interested got it on preorder.

The thing that IS funny is that they clearly expected crouds

Inb4iPhonefanboy: I don't have an iPhone and probably never will.

And a lot of people just aren't ready to upgrade yet. They may only have had their current phone for 3 or 6 months... And a lot of the people in line for the previous iPhone launches for AT&T could have been ready for an update. In fact I know that's the case. A lot of the iPhone users I've talked to only upgraded every 2 years. It's the same thing with WP7. It's not going to sell like gangbusters right out of the gate because the consumers aren't necessarily ready to upgrade at that very minute.

What were they expecting? There isn't going to be a long line when the phone is 8 months old and a new one is due in 4 months. Add to the fact that many people are still in the middle of their contracts and aren't going to pay an early termination fee when they could wait a little bit longer for the next generation iPhone to come out.

When the next generation iPhone comes out, people will wait in line to get it, and I'd be really surprised if there aren't long lines then.

Although them clapping for one customer in the video is hilarious!

Well...what do you expect when this last Christmas all they were peddling were the Androids so heavily? Just over 1 month away and they are now selling a phone that is to compete with the Android that they probably early upgraded people to or almost did (Me).

I suspect that the sales will be strong enough to keep it in the Verizon stores but the Android is very heavily offered and used on their networks so it will probably be 2nd in line in order of preference for customers.

Some of you are a tad bit delusional. This doesn't signal the beginning of the end of the iPhone or any nonsense like that. This is the same phone that sold over a million on its first day and had people in lines for hours on end. Best selling smartphone of all time. But that was also EIGHT MONTHS ago. Frankly, I'm surprised that they sold half a million on the first day of preorders. If you want to truly judge the appeal of the iPhone and where it stands with consumers, the intelligent thing to do is to wait until this summer's release of the next iPhone. If you see empty lines like this (hint: you won't), then yes, the demand for the phone is disappearing.

chaos_disorder said,
Some of you are a tad bit delusional. This doesn't signal the beginning of the end of the iPhone or any nonsense like that. This is the same phone that sold over a million on its first day and had people in lines for hours on end. Best selling smartphone of all time. But that was also EIGHT MONTHS ago. Frankly, I'm surprised that they sold half a million on the first day of preorders. If you want to truly judge the appeal of the iPhone and where it stands with consumers, the intelligent thing to do is to wait until this summer's release of the next iPhone. If you see empty lines like this (hint: you won't), then yes, the demand for the phone is disappearing.

So defensive. Yeah sure, but that doesn't take away from the fact that:
-2 people queued up for an iPhone 4 launch.
-That there is like 23 employees vs 2 camera man

illustrick said,
I heard some places were mobbed others empty. Best buy by me was empty, but my Verizon store had 100 people

our verizon had 1 employee for every customer *lol*, 26 whole people in line..

Its not new anymore so people aren't freaking out about it. Which all the better phones that are out there now people have a much wider variety to choose from.

A higher and higher percentage of the people buying iPhones are people who already had them. Thus, a lot of the people looking to get the Verizon iPhone would already be on AT&T contract and I would also suspect that most of those people would have started that contract would have started it in the summer not in February.

If Verizon wanted an bigger turnout they should of offered to credit the termination fees to people that switched to Verizon.

What was the point anyway, an old phone on a different network. Most people would just order offline anyway, it's NOT revolutionary.

They should have waited for iPhone 5 honestly. Released to both AT&T and Verizon it would have been a huge draw for Apple. Did they forget that some customers were probably locked in to a 2 year and could not afford to pay the ETF?

I don't think the Mall of America is open that early for the mallwalkers either, so they got security out of bed early and all the other daily prep work done early for 2 customers. That's a big expensive fail... what about NY or the other cities were customer concentration is higher and AT&T can't provide what they want?

I found it funny lol. But heck I didn't even really know the phone came out today on verizon. I just knew feb sometime.

Really surprises me that they expected a crowd at all - with everyone knowing a new iPhone isn't that far away I can't see it causing sales havoc

Byron_Hinson said,
Really surprises me that they expected a crowd at all - with everyone knowing a new iPhone isn't that far away I can't see it causing sales havoc

With the next iPhone ~4 months away, anyone who breaks contract to buy this is pretty retarded. Anyone else who doesn't have to break contract is just as retarded if they don't wait the 4 months since the price will drop if you really want the iPhone4, or you can pay the same price for the 5. There has certainly been a lot of negative reports about the iPhone4 on Verizon in even my local news. Everything is being covered from Verizon's slower 3G network to not being able to call and use data at the same time. It would have been more surprise if this release was anything other than just like any other phone.

Byron_Hinson said,
Really surprises me that they expected a crowd at all - with everyone knowing a new iPhone isn't that far away I can't see it causing sales havoc
Exactly. I'm surprised even the online preorders were so high (they outsold the Droid by a long shot) for a product that'll be replaced in four months.

neufuse said,
maybe the hype for the iPhone is finally dieing out now that competition is much higher?

This. and with the Showman on his last legs...look for that stock to start falling big time.

neufuse said,
maybe the hype for the iPhone is finally dieing out now that competition is much higher?

Nah, that would be too good to be true. If this then happens for the iPhone 5 launch then i would believe that. IMO I guess people learned about the problems that the Verizon iPhone has and they realized it wasn't worth switching to Verizon.

Byron_Hinson said,
Wow looks like the WP7 launch!

ya so the iphone is on the same level as Windows Phone 7?!? never thought I would hear a fanboy say it

Lachlan said,

ya so the iphone is on the same level as Windows Phone 7?!? never thought I would hear a fanboy say it

*A 9 month old iPhone is on the same level as WP 7

dave164 said,

A 9 month old iPhone ON THE FOURTH REVISION.


the fourth revision iphone vs a twelfth revision of windows mobile (counting the Pocket PC versions)

Shadowzz said,
the fourth revision iphone vs a twelfth revision of windows mobile (counting the Pocket PC versions)
You know very well that WP7 is hardly the twelfth revision of anything. It shares a name, and little else.

Kirkburn said,
You know very well that WP7 is hardly the twelfth revision of anything. It shares a name, and little else.

....what?

Kirkburn said,
You know very well that WP7 is hardly the twelfth revision of anything. It shares a name, and little else.

Indeed it does not have many of the features of WM 6.XX...... Very unfortunate.

Blasius said,
....what?
How is what I said complex? iOS4 is a fourth revision of iOS, and obviously so. WP7 is not the twelfth revision of Windows Mobile ... it's barely anything like WM6.

I'm not saying it's better or worse as a result, but 'number of revisions' is a silly method of comparison. It's not like we'd include all the revisions of OSX in a roundup of iOS work.

Anyone on Verizon who was interested obviously pre-ordered the phone as they sold out. Practically everyone who isn't on a pay-as-you-go cell phone is on a 2 year contract in the USA. Those 2 year contracts come with steep cancellation penalties. Probably very few people jumped to Verizon for the now 8-month-old iPhone 4 and just paid their cancellation penalties.

Shadrack said,
Anyone on Verizon who was interested obviously pre-ordered the phone as they sold out. Practically everyone who isn't on a pay-as-you-go cell phone is on a 2 year contract in the USA. Those 2 year contracts come with steep cancellation penalties. Probably very few people jumped to Verizon for the now 8-month-old iPhone 4 and just paid their cancellation penalties.

Exactly. This has nothing to do with hype dying down or anything. Those cancellation costs are huge ($200 or more, if I remember correctly), and that plus the cost of an iPhone is a little much, even for those die-hard Apple fans. I'd gladly wait out my contract with AT&T, as crappy as their service is in my area, just so I didn't have to pay such a large cancellation charge.

I think the lines were small because of pre orders started on the 3rd for alot of people, they sold out...that alone is alot of phone sold. Now all those people wouldn't have to goto the store. Preorders yesterday shipped, so there is less people who wouldn't go out.

My upgrade is end of july. So ill get the iphone 5.

Maybe if the iPhone went to verizon sooner more people would've cared? It's either people just preordered and are waiting for the mail or didn't wait for the iPhone to come to verizon so they got something else.

GP007 said,
Maybe if the iPhone went to verizon sooner more people would've cared? It's either people just preordered and are waiting for the mail or didn't wait for the iPhone to come to verizon so they got something else.

I'm thinking that if everyone is moaning about AT&T, why wasn't there more interest? Or do you think that people (i.e. not tech-savvy) really even noticed that it came to Verizon (from what I noticed the advert just seemed to have the Verizon logo on now).

dave164 said,

I'm thinking that if everyone is moaning about AT&T, why wasn't there more interest? Or do you think that people (i.e. not tech-savvy) really even noticed that it came to Verizon (from what I noticed the advert just seemed to have the Verizon logo on now).
Because they don't want to pay the termination fees to cancel their AT&T services to pick up the iPhone on Verizon.

I dunno, I like to think this is more of a turn around of people realising that there are actually more feature packed / open / better phones available now. I can't help but feel, atleast with the people I know that they are fed up of the same old iPhone and want something new.

But I'm probably just being hopeful.

dave164 said,
I dunno, I like to think this is more of a turn around of people realising that there are actually more feature packed / open / better phones available now. I can't help but feel, atleast with the people I know that they are fed up of the same old iPhone and want something new. I'm sick of my old iPhone and hate how little they do with each newer edition and yet get so many people to still actually buy it. I just don't understand.

But I'm probably just being hopeful.

I'm thinking and hoping the same thing. I'm waiting for another round of WP7 devices to launch and then making up my mind whether to go Android or WP7. I prefer WP7 though.

I kind of expected this... With the exorbitant cancellation costs, people won't be switching from AT&T and other carriers until their contract is up.

Xerax said,
wow. haha, hopefully this will get mac fanboy's heads slightly less outa their asses. (Unlikly though.)

The mac fanboys queued up and bought the phone 8 months ago and will be there in the summer for the iPhone 5 with probably longer queues than last year

Xerax said,
wow. haha, hopefully this will get mac fanboy's heads slightly less outa their asses. (Unlikly though.)

"slightly less outa their asses"... So further up their asses?

This also had nothing to do with macs at all. Get your head slightly less outta your ass! Hahaha

thealexweb said,
Staff outnumbering customers but like 5 to 1 is never a good sign xD

actually counted..

Employees = 23
Customers = 2
LOL

Lachlan said,

actually counted..

Employees = 23
Customers = 2
LOL

So... who received the best employee of the day for being an outstanding salesman and number of iPhone sold?

phun8890 said,

So... who received the best employee of the day for being an outstanding salesman and number of iPhone sold?

It was a tie since one guy sold 1 iPhone to customer #1 and one guy sold 1 iPhone to customer #2.

Why would anyone expect long lines for an 8 month old phone?

However, expect the lines for the iPhone 5 to be epic. That's when most people are gonna switch.

dagamer34 said,
Why would anyone expect long lines for an 8 month old phone?

However, expect the lines for the iPhone 5 to be epic. That's when most people are gonna switch.

It also depends on the area, I'm sure other Verizon stores were packed with customers trying to get it, while others couldn't have cared less. I bet not all AT&T stores were packed when the iPhone originally launched, just a majority of them. As for Verizon it probably has to do with the fact that most people who wanted the iPhone switched to AT&T long ago and are not going to drop their contracts to switch back.

Nagisan said,
It also depends on the area, I'm sure other Verizon stores were packed with customers trying to get it, while others couldn't have cared less. I bet not all AT&T stores were packed when the iPhone originally launched, just a majority of them. As for Verizon it probably has to do with the fact that most people who wanted the iPhone switched to AT&T long ago and are not going to drop their contracts to switch back.

The Mall of America is pretty big though.. that is one place i expected chaos.

Andrew Lyle said,

The Mall of America is pretty big though.. that is one place i expected chaos.
Ah, didn't realize that (just skimmed the article), still, a majority of people who would be willing to wait in a long line for an iPhone, have already switched to AT&T for the iPhone....to me the iPhone is just another smart phone, you either want it or you don't, given the fact how long it hasn't been available on Verizon, I'm not surprised that there wasn't a long line for it.

Not to mention current Verizon users need to be eligible for an upgrade to get any kind of price break, and customers from other carriers are not going to pay an ETF just to switch to Verizon.

It would be the equivalent of some major Verizon-only phone switching over to AT&T, there would be some people getting it, but not nearly as many as the ones on Verizon that have it just because it's been around on Verizon longer and the only people who don't have it are likely not wanting it that much.

I think it was more so the fact that most peoples contracts aren't up yet. If mine was, I would've showed up. When the iPhone 4 launched, it was expected to have long lines, especially since AT&T moved up the renewal date for existing customers.

dagamer34 said,
Why would anyone expect long lines for an 8 month old phone?

However, expect the lines for the iPhone 5 to be epic. That's when most people are gonna switch.

I believe At&t will recieve the iPhone 5 well before Verizon. I would expect less people to switch. Especially considering the Verizon iPhone can't offer voice and data simultaneously.

dagamer34 said,
However, expect the lines for the iPhone 5 to be epic. That's when most people are gonna switch.

In the year of the linux desktop, maybe
T8

Jmaxku said,
...I would expect less people to switch. Especially considering the Verizon iPhone can't offer voice and data simultaneously.
I never get that argument about simultaneous voice and data. I have NEVER used my phone for voice and data at the same time. It's always been a useless feature to me. Most of the time I'm in front of a computer or laptop and when I'm not (say in the car), the last thing I want to be doing is driving down the road with the conversation going on in my ear trying to Google some restaurant reviews while driving with my knee. Nah, I think the exodus from AT&T will be major. I personally know of a dozen people making the switch as their contracts expire. Lucky for me I'm already out of contract but I tried ordering an iPhone on Feb 3 and they were sold out by noon (businesses were allowed to order on 2/3). Ordered my VZW iPhone on 2/9 though. Looking forward to iPhone + VZW. AT&T just plain sucks where I live.

dagamer34 said,
Why would anyone expect long lines for an 8 month old phone?

However, expect the lines for the iPhone 5 to be epic. That's when most people are gonna switch.


Our AT&T store had 4 people at launch of the IPhone 4 ... local news had live coverage. Those 4 peeps had a lot of camera time.

Jmaxku said,

I believe At&t will recieve the iPhone 5 well before Verizon. I would expect less people to switch. Especially considering the Verizon iPhone can't offer voice and data simultaneously.


At least Verizon can offer good voice ... every review comparing the 2 IPhones says if you want to surf go with AT&T but if you want a phone that accually makes calls going with Verizon. Plus the IPhone 5 will more then likely be LTE and that will allow data and voice usage at the same time.