iPhone released on Verizon; Midlands customers camp out overnight

COLUMBIA (WACH) -- Customers camped out at the Verizon Wireless store in Columbia to get their hands on the iPhone4.

The line started forming hours before the 7 a.m. opening at the Verizon Wireless Communications Store on Columbiana Circle. Thursday was the first day customers could buy the iPhone at the Verizon retail stores.

Stephen Blevins was first in line. He arrived at midnight with two of his friends.

"We wanted to make it an experience, something we can look back on and talk about," he explained.

For Blevins and other customers, they've been waiting for this day for months.

"I've had an upgrade for over two years now. I didn't want to get another smartphone because I didn't want to use up my upgrade and was holding out for the iPhone to get here...and it paid off," Blevins added.

Alan Buck, Verizon Wireless Business Sales Manager, said about 25 representatives were on hand ready to serve customers when the doors opened.

"We just know from what you can see in the store we are going to be busy all day today," he said.

Up until now, AT&T was the exclusive carrier of the iPhone. Staff at the Harbison store said they are not expecting a drop in customers following Verizon's release.

"We think once current customers and future customers evaluate those differences they are going to choose AT&T over Verizon," said Josh Gelinas with AT&T.

Do you think Verizon now selling the iPhone will have an impact on the mobile market? Would you wait in line through the night to get your hands on one? Leave a comment below to share your thoughts.