SAN FRANCISCO--As the iPhone 4 made its debut across the U.S. Thursday, people came out in droves to be some of the first to buy one in stores.
Even several hours after stores opened, queues remain long, and supply appears to be thinning in some places. But overall, the official first-day sales of the iPhone 4 appear to be going as smoothly as can be expected. Apple stores opened at 7 a.m. first to customers who had reserved an iPhone ahead of time, and employees slowly began working in a separate line of customers who queued up without a preorder reservation. Many people were unable to submit preorders when Apple and AT&T's system crashed repeatedly the first day preorders were available.
The line remains hundreds of people deep at the Stockton Street store in San Francisco, wrapping around two city blocks. The line is significantly longer for those who had already reserved a device. But at two stores in New York, it was the line of walk-in customers that extended longer.
Brian Yin stood a block and a half from the entrance to the Stockton Street store at 8 a.m. as an employee told him he was looking at a wait of about four hours since he didn't have a reservation. He looked relieved. "I was going to leave by noon or 1 p.m., but I can wait." … Read more