Craving an iPhone 4 since AT&T began selling the smartphones last summer, Cam Greathouse seriously considered ditching Verizon -- his longtime cellular service provider -- for the competition.
“I’ve always wanted one,” he said Thursday. “I came so close to switching to AT&T just to get it. But I decided not to. Everybody told me that Verizon was going to get it one day.”
That day finally arrived this week, with Greathouse receiving his preordered iPhone Monday in the mail, then venturing into the Verizon Wireless store on Veterans Parkway in Columbus Thursday to purchase one for his fiancee, Courtney Cummings.
It was the first day the general public -- non-customers of Verizon -- could buy the Apple product nationwide.
“I love it. It’s awesome. It’s everything that everybody talks about,” said Greathouse, 20, a 2008 Shaw High graduate and professional baseball pitcher drafted last June by the Chicago Cubs out of a community college in Panama City, Fla.
About 30 iPhone 4 customers were standing in line at the Columbus store as it opened at 7 a.m. Thursday, some saying they had been there since midnight. While off-duty Columbus police offers were on hand, everything went smoothly, said store manager Ken Jolie.
“We knew we were going to have a large crowd, and I think we were very prepared,” said Jolie, declining to disclose how many iPhones had been sold by mid-morning, only saying “expectations” had been met.
Verizon’s launch of the iPhone 4 counters that of AT&T, which last June began selling the high-tech product at its outlets around the country. The stakes are high, with some AT&T customers expected to switch to Verizon after paying a fee of up to $175 to cancel their two-year contract.
Read more in Friday's Ledger-Enquirer.