Julio Morales got the newest iPhone on Tuesday without waiting in line at AT&T's store on Columbia Center Boulevard in Kennewick.
The new iPhone 4 is sleek and has a better screen with scratch-resistant glass, said the veteran iPhone user. "I'm going to mess with it" to see what it can do, he added.
"Everybody seems to want one," said Morales, 23, a criminal justice student at Columbia Basin College, who upgraded his less-than-a-month-old phone.
The much-hyped smart phone was released nationwide Tuesday to walk-in customers after AT&T began delivering the iPhone 4 to customers who had preordered it weeks ago.
Diana Rivera of Kennewick had reserved one she was buying as a gift for her son at the AT&T Store near Highway 395 and 27th Avenue in Kennewick. Store employees assured her that she could pick up hers later in the day after a new shipment arrived because the new phone was sold out in the morning. The store had about 50 people waiting outside when it opened at 7 a.m.
Rivera had a store employee talk with her son over the phone to ensure she was buying the right device. Her son, who had lost his previous iPhone, wanted one with a camera and flash, she said.
The iPhone 4 can take pictures, record high-definition video and offers the sharpest, highest -resolution phone screen ever, with four times the pixel count of the previous iPhone, according to publicity about it.
"We had a great iPhone 4 launch," said AT&T spokeswoman Colleen Smith. A lot of stores sold their initial supply, she said.
The phone costs $199 for the 16GB model and $299 for the 32GB model and requires a two-year contract. Plans including voice calling and data use start at $54.99 a month plus taxes. For more information, visit www.att.com/wireless/iphone/
AT&T recently introduced new data plans with costs that depend on a customer's internet use. DataPlus provides 200 megabytes for $15 a month and DataPro provides 2 gigabytes for $25 a month. Consumers subscribing to either plan get free unlimited Wi-Fi usage at more than 20,000 AT&T Wi-Fi Hot Spots nationwide.
Smith of AT&T said 2 gigabytes of data is enough to send and receive 10,000 emails with no attachments or 1,500 e-mails with attachments, view 4,000 web pages, post 500 photos to social media sites and watch 200 minutes of streaming video.
Morales said he's lucky he is still on AT&T's unlimited data plan. He's looking forward to watching World Cup soccer matches on his new 32GB iPhone 4.
w Pratik Joshi: 582-1541; firstname.lastname@example.org; Business Beat blog at www.tricityherald.com