Verizon iPhone Sells Out in Two Hours

The Apple smart phone breaks carrier's first-day sales records.

Verizon’s Apple iPhone 4 is off to a strong start, with online pre-orders producing unprecedented sales for the cell phone carrier in only two hours.

In a statement on Friday, Verizon Wireless announced that between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. on Thursday, a record number of subscribers snatched up the Apple smart phone.
“This was an exciting day,” said Dan Mead, president and chief executive officer for Verizon Wireless. “In just our first two hours, we had already sold more phones than any first day launch in our history.”
The company did not specify how many units were purchased, although they confirmed that they had sold through their entire initial inventory.
"It is an incredible success story,” Mead continued. “It is gratifying to know that our customers responded so enthusiastically to this exclusive offer designed to reward them for their loyalty.”
To catch up on backlogged orders, Verizon suspended online iPhone sales Thursday night. They plan to reopen the ordering system at 3 a.m. on Feb. 9.
Currently, only Verizon customers can order the iPhone. The company plans to make limited supplies available in stores to the general public next Thursday.
Analysts believe that Verizon will sell up to 13 million iPhones this year, notes the Associated Press. That's nearly as many as AT&T, which once held exclusive rights to the Apple bestseller, activated last year.
When Verizon first announced that it would start carrying the iPhone, the main question was whether AT&T, which is notorious for its spotty and expensive coverage, would suffer significant losses from customers switching loyalties.
The news of Verizon’s solid first-day showing has thrown a wrench into some experts’ predictions that it wouldn’t. Barclays Capital analyst James Ratliffe previously expected AT&T to sell a net 250,000 contract-based plans in the first quarter, but has now dropped that number to zero.
Verizon has taken several precautions to prepare for the onslaught of data use the iPhone will bring, including reserving the right to shut down iPhone traffic if necessary, recoding all online video requests and monitoring data use among customers with unlimited plans.