Verizon Wireless said Friday it had record sales on the first day of pre-orders for the iPhone 4 and had to cease early orders.
Verizon stopped sales of Apple’s iPhone 4 shortly after 5 p.m. PST Thursday. Sales on the first day were limited to the network’s existing customers. It was only a matter of hours before demand outpaced supply and the company had to shutdown the preorders.
“This was an exciting day,” Verizon Wireless CEO Dan Mead said in a news release. “In just our first two hours, we had already sold more phones than any first-day launch in our history.”
Customers were reporting Thursday that Verizon’s website seemed overloaded by the demand created by the iPhone 4. Mead said, “Overall, it was a very good day.”
“I am proud of our employees who worked tirelessly to strengthen and scale our systems,” he said.
Brian White, an analyst with Ticonderoga Securities said in an e-mail that demand for the iPhone at Verizon was stronger than expected.
“We believe this is quite a statement around the pent-up demand from Verizon customers for the iPhone 4 and we believe this speaks to the potential trajectory of demand with Verizon in 2011,” he wrote. “This also provides just another example of why we believe the voracious appetite for Apple products is not yet reflected in the stock price.”
On Thursday, February 10, in-person sales of the phone will begin at over 2,000 Verizon centers and Apple stores nationwide. The phone will also be available through Wal-Mart and Best Buy stores. Ordering online will begin Wednesday from the Apple and Verizon websites.
A report out Friday estimated at 26 percent of iPhone users currently with AT&T plan to make the switch to Verizon as soon as they can, and that many Verizon customers’ currently using Blackberry or Android smartphones hope to switch to the iPhone.
The iPhone 4 has a retail price starting at $199.99 (16 GB) with a new two-year wireless agreement. Users wanting to move to the Verizon network can use the Verizon Trade-In Program to receive credit for their used smartphones.