Friday, June 29, 2007

Apple Iphone Line - Ohioans line up for Apple's iPhone

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Ohioans line up for Apple's iPhone
Friday, June 29, 2007 11:47 AM
By Tracy Turner
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
John Atkinson got in line at 4 a.m. today to buy his first cell phone.

The 47-year-old Gahanna resident said that he's simply never had a desire to own a mobile phone until he saw an ad for Apple's iPhone.

Call it love at first sight.

“When I saw it, I though, ‘Wow, they've finally created a cell phone that's impressed me enough to buy one,” Atkinson said, as he stood in a light rain outside the Hamilton Road AT&T store, the first person in line to buy iPhone.

Techies and newbies alike are vying to be among the first to get their hands on the new smart phone as the much-hyped iPhone goes on sale today at 6 p.m.

Lines formed before dawn at numerous central Ohio AT&T stores, spokesman Bob Beasley said.

While iPhone's price of $499 and $599 isn't a significant factor for those consumers who say they've waited six months to get one, the latest hot tech device is just too expensive for a lot of other people, a new survey says.

The iPhone could cost consumers more than $2,000 for the duration of the required two-year contract with AT&T, which is providing the wireless service for the phone. That price is for the basic service plan, a 4-gigabyte phone and activation, according to the company.

The survey of nearly 500 online cell-phone shoppers found that about 60 percent of respondents were interested in the iPhone but were unlikely to buy one now because of the price of the phone and the cost of switching service providers.

The survey, released this week by IDC, a market-research company based in Framingham, Mass., found that 10 percent of respondents would be willing to buy an iPhone at full price and switch to AT&T. Nearly 18 percent of the respondents said they'd buy the iPhone if it were priced under $299, the survey said.

“While the allure of owning the next ‘cool' device will undoubtedly have early adopters … queuing up to get the iPhone regardless of the price, the associated costs of ownership will persuade many others into a ‘wait-and-see' position,” Shiv K. Bakhshi, director of mobility research at IDC, said in a statement.

Despite the costs, AT&T anticipates strong sales of the iPhone, particularly today. In fact, stores are staying open an hour later today and have added workers to meet the expected rush, Beasley said.

“We're expecting crowds similar to those we've had on peak holiday season and more,” he said. “ Some customers began lining up outside some Ohio stores” yesterday.

Beasley said the iPhone is priced competitively, considering its features.

“This device represents the future of hand-held wireless devices. Not only is it your wireless phone, it's the best iPod ever made and the best wireless hand-held Web browser made,” he said. “ People are interested in it because it truly lives up to the hype.”

Brennan Brumfield is among them. The 20-year-old Grove City resident got in line at 6 a.m. at the Hamilton Road AT&T store to buy the 8 megabyte iPhone.

“I spent like $250 for the cell phone I have now and all it really has is a camera,” Brumfield said. “Dude, what's a couple more hundred when you consider all the options iPhone has?”

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