By Dennis Seid/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – It was clear that Larry Nix, dressed in a suit, didn’t camp overnight on the sidewalk to get his iPhone 5 Friday morning.
But he did drive from Hamilton, Ala., to be one of the first customers at the ATamp&T store on North Gloster Street in Tupelo.
In fact, he was the first in line.
“I got here at 3 a.m.,” he said. “I scheduled an appointment with a client at 10 in Phil Campbell, Ala., and I think I can make it.”
Nix was among three dozen eager iPhone fans waiting for the store to open at 8 a.m.
As a show of appreciation, ATamp&T employees set up a table with hot donuts and coffee on the sidewalk for them.
A few hundred yards away at the Verizon store, about 20 people were waiting for the doors to open early, too.
Shane Hogue was the first in line. Having bought the first iPhone five years ago, and subsequent models in between, he wasn’t going to miss out on the iPhone 5.
“I’m getting one for my wife,” too, he said.
With the bigger, thinner, lighter iPhone 5, customers will have to buy the accessories to go with them, too.
“We have the Otter boxes, the spec cases, the chargers, everything they’ll need,” said Ericka Timbes, the retail sales manager at the ATamp&T store.
Friday was the first day customers could buy the iPhone 5 from retail stores. The phone could be pre-ordered from Apple, ATamp&T, Sprint and Verizon last week but customers had to wait until this week to get them in the mail.
Some, however, will have to wait a little longer. Apple last Friday suspended sales after two hours, and some customers won’t get their iPhones until October.
C Spire began taking orders Friday and will begin selling them in retail stores and online on Sept. 28.
Waiting wasn’t on Brandy Guidry’s mind. She wanted her iPhone 5 as soon as she could get it, getting in line behind Hogue at Verizon.
“My husband and I have the 4S, so we’re trading them in for the 5,” she said.
Guidry did just that and was a happy customer.
“I got $140 for each phone, so I ended up paying $50 for each iPhone 5,” she said.
And for most of the early risers on Friday, they got their iPhones. By the afternoon, ATamp&T and Verizon stores had sold their supply.
New shipments will be coming to the stores, but officials didn’t know when or how many phones would be available.
“There’s been as much buzz about the iPhone 5 as there has been for the other iPhone introductions,” said Verizon district retail sales manager Lori Ann Singleton. “I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that this is the first really big change in the phone itself since it was first introduced, and it’s the first 4G iPhone.”