LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – Cell phone users wanting change certainly got what they asked for Thursday. It is official. Apple's three and a half year exclusive relationship with AT&T is over and Verizon customers in Lubbock couldn't be happier.
"The time is finally here," said Manager Paul Jackse who oversees eight Verizon stores in Texas.
Nearly 35 Lubbock customers woke up early Thursday morning to grab a spot in line for Verizon's iPhone 4. The row of chairs outside the store on West Loop 289 were empty, but that's because employees handed out numbers so customers could wait inside their warm cars.
"I just want to get my iPhone," explained Cara Gwin, who woke up at 2:30 a.m. to secure a spot for a phone. "My fiance went to AT&T and got an iPhone so I'm really jealous and today I get my own."
She waited in her car for nearly three hours. "I drove by around 3 a.m. and the guard said to leave the parking lot. I waited for someone else to come back," said Gwin.
Zach Fields beat her to it. "My contract ran up and I've been waiting. I didn't want to get a new one until Verizon got an iPhone. It's been a big hit with AT&T so it is something I've been waiting for," explained Fields.
The door opened at 7 a.m. but employees let customers in out of the cold a few minutes early.
The traditional iPhone ring is a sound Verizon customers have longed to hear.
"A lot of them have been waiting a while. I just thank our customers for not leaving and sticking with us," said Jackse.
Verizon predicts record sales and expects 1 million people will be using iPhones on its network within the next week. Customers left the Lubbock store smiling, thinking the wait is finally over.
The 16 GB iPhone 4 with a two year Verizon contract costs $199, which is what the phone sells for at AT&T.
Experts say the battle for your business is just getting started.
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