iPhone 5 launch draws lines in Wilmington
September 21, 2012By Staff Reports
Like fans who formed early-morning lines in cities around the world, some Wilmington consumers also were ready for the iPhone 5 release Friday morning.
When Marty McNeil arrived at the AT&T store at 314 S. College Road at 6 a.m., he said about 40 people already were waiting outside.
“We probably still have a good 20 or 30 because the line keeps growing,” McNeil, area retails sales manager, said at about 10 a.m. “It’s been really brisk … We’ve probably sold half of our inventory already.”
McNeil said he has heard similar reports at other stores in his market, which extends to Jacksonville and Fayetteville.
He said once the Wilmington AT&T corporate store sell out of its launch-day inventory – a number he said he could not disclose – there will be limited supplies kept on stock, with the store switching to direct fulfill mode and shipping the phones to customers.
Wilmington Verizon stores also had people waiting when they opened an hour earlier than usual at 8 a.m.
“It’s been a very steady stream since that time, very brisk sales today,” Verizon spokeswoman Karen Schulz said Friday afternoon. “We’re at full staffing all day, and our team has certainly been hopping throughout the day.”
She said some of the immediate customer feedback has been about the speed of the 4G LTE network, an enhancement in the new version of the phone’s data connectivity. Verizon began offering 4G LTE in the Wilmington market last year.
AT&T also rolled out a 4G LTE network in the Wilmington area earlier this week.
The latest generation of Apple’s iPhone not only broke the line’s presale record – 2 million were placed in the first 24 hours – but also lured people into waiting in line for first-day sales in front of numerous U.S. stores as in Asia and Europe, according to news reports.
McNeil said the response at the Wilmington store this morning was similar to the previous go-around.
“It’s about the same as we had as with the [iPhone] 4 and 4S,” he said. “The iPhones are always exciting times.”