published Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

Fans line up, order iPhone 4

Customers lined up across the region to pre-order the iPhone 4 Tuesday, with some waiting in line as long as two hours for the device that will launch June 24.

The redesigned iPhone features a new operating system with multitasking, a five megapixel HD camera with flash that can be used for video chat, onboard HD video editing and a higher-resolution display, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said June 7.

Eager iPhone enthusiasts waited in line nearly two hours at the AT&T store on Gunbarrel Road, according to manager Rob Payne. He recommended that customers allow at least an hour if they want to order the new phone.

"We had people lined up this morning when we opened up the door," Mr. Payne said. "Right now the wait is about an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes."

The Dalton, Ga., and Hixson AT&T stores could not be reached for comment despite repeated attempts, but sales representative Jimmy Bishop at the Cleveland, Tenn., AT&T store said he had personally seen "at least 40 to 50 people" lining up to order Apple's new device.

He said the big changes Apple implemented in the iPhone 4 compared to previous, less sweeping updates to the platform, were responsible for increased interest in the Apple chief executive's latest creation.

"I think it's a pretty big step up from the 3GS," he said. "The 3GS was pretty similar (to the 3G) looks-wise, but this one's quite a bit different."

Best Buy was also taking orders, and Joe Yingling, manager of the Gunbarrel Road store, said there was a crowd at the door when the store opened Tuesday.

"We had a lot of people come in for the pre-order," he said, but "Anytime new technology comes out, there's never enough to meet the demand."

Best Buy will allow customers to order the new iPhone 4 with a $50 deposit.

about Ellis Smith...

Ellis Smith joined the Chattanooga Times Free Press in January 2010 as a business reporter. His beat includes the flooring industry, Chattem, Unum, Krystal, the automobile market, real estate and technology. Ellis is from Marietta, Ga., and has a bachelor’s degree in mass communication at the University of West Georgia. He previously worked at UTV-13 News, Carrollton, Ga., as a producer; at the The West Georgian, Carrollton, Ga., as editor; and at the Times-Georgian, Carrollton, ...

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