By Daniel Callicott
Misty breaths hung like heavy clouds in the air as a pair of heat lamps blazed in the background. A line of figures stood huddled in coats with faces turned from the biting wind.
After braving icy roads, these Jackson residents waited to get their hands on the latest model of the iPhone 4, which was made available Feb. 10.
Originally, Apple released the first iPhone model in June 2007 with AT&T as the exclusive wireless service provider.
However, on Jan. 11 Apple and Verizon announced in a joint press release that a new version of the cell phone would be available on the Verizon Wireless 3G network.
According to the news release posted on the Apple website, the new iPhone includes innovations such as the Retina display. According to the release, Retina is the “highest resolution display ever built into a phone.” Another application facilitates video calling.
Patrick Carodine, assistant district manager of West Tennessee Retail for Verizon Wireless, said the Verizon iPhone 4 includes “Personal Hotspot” capabilities. Essentially, customers will be able to share a Wi-Fi connection with a maximum of five compatible devices.
Carodine said Verizon is also offering new customers a trade-in program, which accepts old phones from any carrier. He said customers can visit www.trade-in.vzw.com to determine the value of their old phone. Customers who accept the offer will be given a gift card valid at Verizon Wireless stores for the value of their trade-in.
“Verizon has always prided itself on providing customers with choices, and we feel the addition of the iPhone will provide them with some of the best technology available today,” Carodine said.
Jackson residents Terrance Bates and Jerrod Gibbons said the wait in the chilly temperatures was worthwhile as they emerged from the Verizon store in with two new iPhones in tow. The men had been the first customers in line to purchase the smart phone and said they arrived at 5 a.m.
Carodine said he could not comment about the number of iPhones the store had in supply due to company policy.
“But we anticipate success,” he said.
According to the Apple website, the suggested retail price for the new iPhone 4 for the 16 GB and 32 GB models is $199.99 and $299.99, respectively, with a new two-year service contract.
In the Jan. 11 press release, Tim Cook, chief operating officer for Apple, said he expects users will receive the new model of the iPhone well.
“Verizon Wireless customers have told us they can’t wait to get their hands on iPhone 4, and we think they are going to love it,” Cook said.
“We have enormous respect for the company Verizon has built and the loyalty they have earned from their customers.”
Cook is currently presiding over Apple’s day-to-day activities.