Baton Rougeans line up for new iPhone 5 release
Fourteen people lined up outside the Verizon Wireless store on College Drive this morning, waiting for its 8 a.m. opening so they could get their hands on the new iPhone 5.
Lynn Singletary browsed her iPhone 4—on which she expected to get a rebate of up to $200 with a trade-in—as she waited to sign a new two-year contract with Verizon for a 16-gigabyte iPhone 5 priced at $199.99. Singletary says her former Verizon contract had expired and that she was getting the new smartphone without much extra expense.
Singletary is just one of the 10 million customers who Apple expects will buy the new phone this month, which reportedly could boost the American economy by $3.2 billion in the fourth quarter. Apple has cuts ties with Google, and the iPhone 5 has its own maps app, which have garnered mixed reviews. Singletary says that's the one feature of the new phone that she has "mixed feelings" about.
Parrish Orth, 23, an Android user for more than two years, also stood in line awaiting access to the new iPhone 5. Orth says his decision to purchase one today is more about replacing a wornout gadget than possessing the latest in pocket-held technology. The iPhone 5 will be his first Apple smartphone, yet he knew nothing about its particular features.
"To be honest, I'm not sure," Orth says.
The Siegen Lane Verizon store had about the same number of people waiting in line this morning, says a Verizon spokesperson. AT&T spokeswoman Sue Sperry says store managers in the New Orleans and Baton Rouge areas noted a stronger demand this morning for the iPhone 5 than during the launch of the iPhone's predecessors.
"They hadn't seen lines like this since the first one," Sperry says.
Like the Verizon stores, AT&T is accepting phone trade-ins—including Androids—for discounts.
"Even if it's not in good shape, we'll take it," Sperry says.
The older phones are sent to the charity Cell Phones for Soldiers, which sends them to recycling firms and uses the revenue to buy calling cards for soldiers overseas.
To read more about iPhone 5 sales demand worldwide today, check out The Associated Press coverage here.
Editor's note: This story has been changed since its original publication. An earlier version of this story indicated some phones taken on trade-ins are sent directly to soldiers oversees.
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