WDAZ: Your Home Team

Published February 10, 2011, 05:46 PM

Apple's iPhone Arrives in the Valley

The wait is over for those who want the popular Apple iPhone. Cell phone users in the area have not been able to use the device because it was exclusive to AT&T, and the company didn't offer service here.

By: David Schwab, WDAZ

Now, Verizon Wireless has the iPhone. The announcement came a few months ago that the service provider would be carrying the phone.

But it wasn't until Thursday that people finally hit the airwaves with their Apples.

"I'm stoked," said Colin Orr, who was waiting a long time for the phone.

"It just is going to be the phone of the future," says Rod Gigstad.

The Verizon Wireless retailer at 32nd Avenue So. in Grand Forks was buzzing Thursday with customers wanting to get their fingers on the new phone. Some lined up waiting for the store to open at 7 a.m.

"Pure excitement. Especially this morning. They were almost doing cartwheels to stay warm out there," John Barrieau, the District Manager of Verizon Wireless, said.

"For this area in particular, not having the iPhone at all up here until now I think there is a bigger draw toward that product so there is definitely a lot of excitement," Barrieau said.

About 40 people like Colin Orr bought a phone before noon.

"I just got really excited when I found out it wasn't a rumor. I was really happy I'm down here now," Orr said.

"Of course we don't have very good AT&T coverage. So it was good when they finally came out. We have been waiting for quite a while," adds Gigstad.

The latest version of the phone has many features that include a high resolution screen and Apple web browser. Many are expected to sign up with Verizon to buy the phone. Barrieau says they are prepared.

"We have been using smartphones on our base for quite a while now. We have the battle-tested Droid phone on our network so there is very little concern right now," Barrieau said.

So how much will an iPhone take out of your wallet? With a two-year agreement, the iPhone 4 models range from $200 to $300 and there is a monthly service fee for internet.