Verizon offers iPhone 4 to customers

Verizon Wireless stores across the country added the iPhone 4 to their shelves this week, expanding availability to approximately 94 million Verizon customers.Verizon stores, particularly the main dealership on West Jackson Street in Cookeville, had additional security staff when doors opened at 7 a.m. yesterday to customers eager to upgrade to the iPhone 4.

The fourth generation of the original model launched by Apple in 2007, the iPhone 4 was available by pre-order on verizonwireless.com last Thursday as a customer loyalty program for current Verizon users, allowing them to receive the phone before its Feb. 10 in-store launch date. Verizon ceased pre-ordering of the iPhone 4 the next day.

“Verizon had to stop pre-orders because we ran out of inventory,” Karen Schulz, Verizon’s public relations manager for the Carolinas/Tennessee region, said. “We saw an extremely high demand.”

Online ordering for the iPhone 4 resumed to the general public at 3:01 a.m. Wednesday.

Visits to three Verizon dealerships in Cookeville were met with managers and sales associates who had been advised by Verizon’s corporate headquarters to remain mum about the iPhone 4 until its Thursday release. However, some sales associates suggested that they anticipated helping several customers.

“We expect large crowds,” Schulz said, noting Verizon’s first come, first serve policy. “But there’s no need to camp out in front of the store for it, due to the cold weather.”

The iPhone 4 totes a suggested retail price of $199.99 for the 16GB model and $299.99 for the 32GB model with a new two-year customer agreement with Verizon.