Thirty-year-old Josh Robinson is the quintessential iPhone fanatic.
Standing in line Friday morning in front of the Apple store in Boulder, Colo., Robinson was waiting to buy none other than the iPhone 4S, Apple’s latest iteration of the popular mobile gadget that is part phone, part computer.
“Every launch I’m standing in line," Robinson said.
He means that literally, having purchased every version of the iPhone since Apple launched the device in 2007. Robinson already has an iPhone 4, which he plans to sell on Craigslist for between $150 and $200.
The truck driver from Denver said he likes the GPS functionality of the iPhone and uses the Facebook app, but his attraction to the device appears to be something of an obsession.
“I am on it every 15 minutes checking everything – Facebook, email, text messages, Internet. It does everything."
That kind of unsolicited endorsement of one of the world’s most revered smartphones helps to explain why Apple has sold 129 million iPhones since 2007 and could sell millions of iPhones over the weekend around the world.
Analysts were speculating for months that Apple would debut an entirely next-generation iPhone 5. The iPhone 4S announcement earlier this month may have been a letdown for Wall Street. But don’t expect sluggish sales of the iPhone 4S – a handset that includes new software with more than 200 new features and a dual processor that makes it twice as fast as the previous version.
Apple set a record (about 1 million pre-orders) in the first 24 hours that the gadget could be purchased ahead of retail store sales. And the line Friday morning outside Apple’s store in Boulder was just one of many indications that demand for the iPhone 4S was firm on the first day that the device was sold in retail stores across the country, including through the three largest wireless operators: Verizon Wireless, AT&T and Sprint.
"We are very pleased with the response from customers today," said Bob Kelley, a Verizon Wireless spokesman in Colorado, who noted he had visited some stores today but declined to disclose any actual sales numbers.
Customers Choose Sprint on iPhone 4S Launch
Scott Winget, a Boulder resident who owns an antiquated Nokia phone, was in line to buy an iPhone 4S and sign up for service with Sprint, which has rights for the first time ever to sell the iPhone. Winget has been a T-Mobile customer and has been happy with T-Mobile’s customer service and rates. But the University of Colorado graduate, who grew up using Macintosh computers, said the iPhone 4S camera and video camera will come in handy for him at a bike park where he does construction maintenance and other jobs because he intends to document his work.