updated 09:10 am EST, Fri November 6, 2009
Most VZ stores see small Droid queues
(Updated with additional lineup details) Early reports have suggested relatively small lineups for the Droid at Verizon stores. Visitors to most stores have seen lines of several people or less, with others seeing no lineups even with later early opening 8AM openings. The midnight opening at Verizon's 34th Street Manhattan store has also been described as modest, with one report so far suggesting that only 20 were in queue roughly an hour before it opened and no reports of the line growing much larger by 12AM.
Update: it's now estimated that the lineup grew quickly in the last half hour, swelling to 65 by 11:30PM and "more than a hundred" by midnight. Anecdotal reports from other Manhattan stores, like that on 21st Street, reported much lowed activity.
While Verizon has yet to comment on the launch, a number of factors are likely to contribute to the short queues. Verizon is selling the phone through its online store and applies an immediate $100 discount there while requiring that in-store buyers wait for a $100 mail-in rebate. Third-party chain stores are also undercutting Verizon's own price. Best Buy sells the Droid for $200 without requiring a rebate, while Walmart has been selling the phone for $188.
The initial turnout nonetheless suggests little early fervor for the phone, which will receive a major ad campaign in Times Square, online and on TV.
By contrast, Apple in the past few years has seen significantly longer lineups at its own stores and many AT&T locations; some flagship stores, such as the 5th Avenue Manhattan store, have seen lines ranging into the hundreds on iPhone release days. However, Apple is helped by asking for a similar price in-store as online and through a process that potentially streamlines retail purchases. [image via Warren Vosper]