STEUBENVILLE - It was two out of three Friday afternoon for Martha Joyce as she left the AT&T store at the Fort Steuben Mall.
"I bought two new iPhone 5s with 32 gigs for my husband and daughter-in-law. I wanted to get a 64-gig iPhone 5 for my son, but they didn't have one here. I was even ready to go to the Apple store at the South Hills Village, but the sales consultant here at the AT&T store called them and they didn't have a white phone, which is what I wanted," related Joyce after she exited the store.
"I personally still have the iPhone 4 and I am fine with that one. But my family likes all the new gadgets and they have been waiting for these new phones to come out," Joyce added.
NEW IPHONE — Martha Joyce of Steubenville checked out a new iPhone with help from Jimmy Metts of the Fort Steuben Mall AT&T store on Friday. Joyce bought two new cell phones for her husband and daughter-in-law. -- Dave Gossett
According to Eric Hannah, the area regional manager, 40 people were lined up at the mall's AT&T store when the doors opened at 8 a.m. Friday.
"One guy was parked outside the mall at 2 a.m. Friday. But he wasn't allowed to come into the mall until they opened their doors this morning. We were very busy early on. It has been fairly steady since this morning," said Hannah.
"Everyone who came in was pretty excited about the new phone. They've been waiting for it. It is amazing what Apple can do with its technology," noted Hannah.
"We had an inventory of the new phones. But now shoppers can come here and order the new iPhone and it will be shipped straight to their homes," explained Hannah.
David Rice of Weirton wasn't in a rush Friday to buy his new iPhone 5.
"My wife and I came to the mall this afternoon and really didn't have to wait. There were plenty of sales consultants, and I have our new phone. I like all the new stuff when it comes out. I had an Android phone until about 30 seconds ago. The Android phones are good but the Apple phones have a simple interface and are so easy to use," said Rice, an IT specialist at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort.
"I'll get a new phone in February when I upgrade. My iPhone 4 will go to our daughter then," remarked Luvina Rice.
"She's 11 and really not ready for the new iPhone even though she wants one," laughed David Rice.
"All of the Apple products are easy to use so she can handle it. I go back and forth between the Apple and the Android phones. But Apple phones are easy to use." he added.
John Machine, manager of the Weirton AT&T store, said his sales staff had been busy all day selling the new iPhones.
A sales consultant relayed Machine's comments citing the number of customers in the store.
"We have been busy all day, the sales person related."
But it was a different story for Jason Moores of the Weirton Verizon store, who said he had sold only four new iPhones by Friday afternoon.
"We sold three new phones as soon as we opened the store this morning. After that it calmed down until this afternoon. Apple does a great job talking up their new phones, but we don't see the long lines of customers like they have in the large cities. Cell phone customers here are pretty loyal to what they already have," observed Moores.
According to the Apple Website, the latest iPhone is 18 percent thinner and 20 percent lighter than the iPhone 4.
Apple received 2 million orders in the first 24 hours of announcing its release date, more than twice the number for the iPhone 4S in the same period when that phone launched a year ago.