KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Apple fans had an extra reason to say “thank goodness it’s Friday” after the tech giant released its newest iPhone.
The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus offer double the memory than its predecessor, come with wireless headphones and are even water resistant. Some customers were so excited about the launch that they lined malls and sidewalks outside iPhone-selling stores.
“It’s great,” Aidan Cantu, 13, said. “I like it a lot, and I haven’t even set it up yet.”
Cantu started the weekend a happy camper as he walked out of Verizon Wireless in Turkey Creek with his very own black matte iPhone 7. While he didn’t need to devote a long wait, others set aside more time to ensure they would be going home with Apple’s latest device.
“Last time I did this, I stood in a line for five and a half hours to get the iPhone 4,” Robert Bailey said, as he waited in line three hours before doors opened.
Eager Apple fans, like Bailey, lined up out the door at Apple and other carrier stores in the early hours of the morning, with some even spending the night.
“We always have a couple campers every iPhone launch,” Michael Shadowens, general manager of Verizon Wireless in Turkey Creek, said.
Shadowens said consumers did have reason to look forward to the newest iPhone models.
“There are a number of improvements,” he said. “They have double the memory capacity for the same price, better battery life, and are the first water-resistant iPhones.”
Many customers said their expectations have been met.
“It’s got a really big camera on the back. I really like the color,” Cantu added.
Though fewer people were seen waiting outside stores ahead of the big launch compared to year’s past, even more consumers were showing their Apple loyalty online and in the weeks leading up to the release.
“As far as pre-orders go, this is the most pre-orders we’ve had out of any device, ever,” Shadowens said.
Due to high demand, the jet black iPhone 7 and all models of the iPhone 7 Plus are out of stock throughout much of the country, including Knoxville, and must be pre-ordered online or in a carrier store.
As some wait for their new smartphone in the mail, others are spending the day unable to put theirs down.
“I’m just so excited because it’s a new upgrade, and it’s awesome,” Cantu said.