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Posted at 9:16 AM ET, 02/ 4/2011

Verizon stops taking iPhone pre-orders after setting unspecified 'record'

By Rob Pegoraro

Verizon stopped taking pre-orders for its version of the iPhone 4 at 8:10 last night--and it clocked so many that it hasn't finished counting them.

That's one way to read this morning's press release, in which the carrier uses a variety of phrases--"record sales," "the most successful first day sales in the history of the company," "unprecedented customer orders"--without actually giving a number of iPhones sold.

There is a bit of a precedent for this. Amazon has yet to say how many Kindles it's sold in the more than three years since its first e-book reader debuted; its latest press release on the subject did not feature a number more specific than "millions."

By way of context, when the iPhone 4 debuted last June, Apple said the company and all the carriers selling that device worldwide took in 600,000 orders on the first day.

Verizon's most successful phone launch before the iPhone was probably the Motorola Droid; one research firm estimated that Verizon sold 250,000 units of that Android-based smartphone in its first week.

So maybe we're looking at 500,000 pre-orders, to cite one recent prediction?

Whatever the figure, it will certainly increase once Verizon and Apple start selling the Verizon flavor of the iPhone to new customers on Feb. 10. (In other words: No, the Verizon iPhone hasn't sold out.) I'd like to think that after three years of Apple selling smartphones, people have learned from experience and won't queue up before dawn to buy the latest model on its first day on sale--but I'm afraid that's exactly what we'll see next Thursday.

(Online sales start at 3:01 a.m. on Feb. 9, if you simply can't wait.)

Equally predictable: We will be hearing from upset Verizon customers who can't buy this thing at the new-or-renewing price of $199.99 for its 16-gigabyte version and $299.99 for the 32 GB model. Verizon can blame itself for some confusion here--it just changed its policy but hasn't documented this anywhere I could find on its site, leaving news reports as the best reference. But in any case: You'll need to be 20 months into an existing contract to get that most-favored-customer price. Otherwise, you'd pay $649.99 for a 16 GB iPhone or $749.99 for its 32 GB edition.

That's about average for the big wireless carriers. AT&T lets customers on its most expensive plans trade up at the new-customer price 13 months in; most smartphone users will have to wait until 18 months have gone by, while users on its cheapest voice-data bundles don't get that discount until 21 months. Sprint makes subscribers wait until they're 22 months into a two-year deal to get a full discount, although smaller price breaks become available 12 months in. T-Mobile mirrors Sprint's policy.

You don't have to like those rules, but you also can't do much about them. On the other hand, it won't kill you to stick with an older device for another few months. Because even the Verizon iPhone is still just a phone. Right?

By Rob Pegoraro  | February 4, 2011; 9:16 AM ET
Categories:  Mobile, Telecom, The business we have chosen  
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Comments

Just a phone?!?
how can you say that?!?
you either don't own a smartphone or you're kidding...

Posted by: Bl4kH4t | February 4, 2011 11:56 AM | Report abuse

I'd wait a few months anyway and see if the IPhone destroys the VZ network the way it destroyed AT&T.

VZ entering the game is probably the best thing that could have happened to AT&T.

Posted by: BEEPEE | February 4, 2011 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Beepee, AT&T's network was pretty much the suck long before the iPhone came out...

Posted by: dkp01 | February 4, 2011 2:02 PM | Report abuse

So I went to the site to take advantage of my "preferred" status only to find that... SURPRISE ... Verizon is providing me with a "pants on - no Vaseline" moment. Every phone release they have ever had, customers have clamored for the ability to have Wi-Fi. Well you can have now... for and extra $20/month! And the warranty and theft/loss coverage... that's doubled too! Now $12.95/month! Have they been working with Dan Snyder lately?

Posted by: rogerellen | February 4, 2011 2:38 PM | Report abuse

So I went to the site to take advantage of my "preferred" status only to find that... SURPRISE ... Verizon is providing me with a "pants on - no Vaseline" moment. Every phone release they have ever had, customers have clamored for the ability to have Wi-Fi. Well you can have now... for and extra $20/month! And the warranty and theft/loss coverage... that's doubled too! Now $12.95/month! Have they been working with Dan Snyder lately?

Posted by: rogerellen | February 4, 2011 2:42 PM | Report abuse

and UPS is delivering iphones today, 2those of us that partook.

Posted by: Hattrik | February 4, 2011 2:45 PM | Report abuse

or you can just add a new# for 9.99/mo
(worked for me!)-I'll dump the other line next month ;-)

hattrik-how'd you score so fast? mine shipped but arriving monday. lucky u!

Posted by: macbunny | February 4, 2011 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Me? I am sticking with AT&T and using the early termination fee savings to donate to the Washington City Paper legal defense fund to fight Dan Snyder's lawsuit: http://bit.ly/dMQYd4

Posted by: RepealObamacareNow | February 4, 2011 7:10 PM | Report abuse

"...customers have clamored for the ability to have Wi-Fi. Well you can have now... for and extra $20/month! "

Posted by: rogerellen | February 4, 2011 2:38 PM


All of Verizon's current smartphones have wi-fi, and it costs nothing to use. There is a separate, completely optional feature called 3G Mobile Hotspot that costs $20, which gives the additional ability to use your Verizon smartphone as a wi-fi access point, or "hotspot", to connect other devices to the Internet through Verizon's network.

Posted by: chuggo | February 5, 2011 12:26 AM | Report abuse

And we wonder what has happened to America??

Just give people their "TOYS" and they will not pay attention to what these career politicians are doing to this country and it's citizens.

It's government by lobbyists for lobbyists not the American people.
HAS ANYONE WOKEN UP YET??


http://goooh.com/

Posted by: bkarpus | February 5, 2011 5:27 AM | Report abuse

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