Apple devotees wait in lines for iPhone 6

photo People line up to buy new iPhones in Chattanooga.

A holiday shopping rush of sorts hit area phone and eletronics stores Friday as scores of Apple devotees got up early to buy the first of the new supersized iPhones.

The iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus -- bigger, smarter and longer-lasting devices than their predecessors -- went on sale Friday.

More than 4 million of the new Apple phones were pre-ordered and will soon be shipped. But many Chattanoogans couldn't wait.

"It's great to have the latest and greatest piece of technology and Apple is so great with everything, I knew I wanted to buy it as soon as I could," said Josh Tennant, a 29-year-old Apple user eager to synchronize his phone with other Apple iPod, iPad, Apple TV and Mac computer devices he owns.

Tennant, one of a dozen people who waited outside for an early opening today at the Best Buy store in East Brainerd, bought an iPhone 6 for his wife but was disappointed to learn he couldn't get the larger iPhone 6 Plus just yet at Best Buy.

Down Gunbarrel Road, the AT&T store had a bigger selection of iPhones, but also longer lines. The line at the AT&T store started at 11 a.m. Thursday.

Bradley Chambers arrived at the AT&T store at 2:30 a.m. Friday when there were already 10 people ahead of him. He had to buy a bigger memory phone than he first planned to get the right color. But after getting his $399 iPhone 6 -- discounted by $200 from the trade in of his current iPhone -- Chambers was beaming.

"I get up early anyway, so I got up a little earlier today and had a lot of fun meeting the other people waiting in line," said Chambers, director of IT at Brainerd Baptist School. "This is my fourth iPhone and Apple has never let me down."

With significantly larger screens, the latest iPhones help Apple match competitors like Samsung, which have long offered bigger screen phones with displays more closer to a tablet.

Supplies of the the biggest new device, the iPhone 6 Plus, were not available at many stores and were in limited supply at others.

Donald Swoopes, a 29-year-old Apple user from Ooltewah, settled on the iPhone 6 when he found out that he couldn't buy any of the larger iPhone 6 Plus phones as yet.

"I'm buying the iPhone 6 today because I don't want to walk away empty handed, but I'll still get the iPhone 6 eventually," he said. "I come out every time there is a new iPhone because I know Apple has great products."

Apple CEO Tim Cook offered the first glimpse of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus last week during a star-studded event in Cupertino, Calif. The new Apple smartwatch stole the show, but the spruced up iPhones will mean much more for the company's bottom line in the near term.

If supplies don't run out, analysts predict that Apple will sell more than 10 million iPhones this weekend, up from 9 million during the opening weekend for the iPhone 5s and 5c last year.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

Contact Dave Flessner at [email protected] or at 757-6340.