AT has gone from exclusive cellular order iphone 5 verizon carrier for Apple’s iPhone to an alsoran in Chattanooga, where it will play secondfiddle to Verizon in the iPhone 5 speed game.
The newest creation to emerge from Cupertino, Califbased Apple supports the latest 4G LTE standard. Tests have found that LTE offers speeds that can meet or exceed homebased WiFi.
While AT supports the HSPA+ 21 standard which it calls 4G the carrier’s Chattanoogabased customers won’t be able to try out their new iPhone 5 on LTE before 2013 at the earliest, according to spokeswoman Cathy Lewandowski.
AT has rolled out LTE in Nashville,order iphone 5 verizon and has announced that it will deploy LTE in Knoxville and Memphis by the end of 2012, Lewandowski said. However, the company has not announced when LTE will be available in Chattanooga.
Sprint customers will be stuck with slower 3G speeds, as the company’s WiMax service is not available in Chattanooga either.
TMobile, which won’t offer the iPhone 5, supports the HSPA+ 42 standard which like AT network is nearly as fast as LTE in some tests.
“The big difference with this phone is order iphone 5 verizon LTE,” said Verizon spokeswoman Kelly Parks, referring to the speed at which the phone can download data from the Internet.
Advertised as being 18 percent thinner with a better camera, it’s nonetheless difficult to visually differentiate from the previous model.
It’s also difficult to obtain. A check of AT Verizon, Sprint and Best Buy stores by early afternoon revealed that all stores had sold out, with no estimate of when new stock would arrive. One analyst, quote by Reuters, estimates that Apple will sell 8 million of the devices over the weekend.
Perhaps because of Apple’s checkered history of producing enough devices to meet demand, hundreds of Chattanoogaarea customers woke up early on Friday or stayed up late on Thursday to get their hands on the popular device. Dozens shifted nervously outside the Gunbarrel Road Verizon store under the watchful eye of a private security guard, as bouncers minded the door. Another 20 customers waited at Verizon’s Clevealnd store.
While not quite a nightclub atmosphere, workers’ matching polo shirts and the store’s tightlyregulated entrance lent the gathering an exclusive air. AT provided coffee and other refreshments to early risers.
“The wait is over,” CNN declared on its website.
One student at Verizon’s Gunbarrel Road store, who declined to be named, studied for a test as she waited in line. Behind her, babies slept in strollers and fans from different Southeastern Conference football teams swapped tall tales.
David Powell was the first in Chattanooga to get the new iPhone. He wanted to be sure that he’d get Apple’s new creation.
“It was pretty calm,” Powell said. “I was surprised there weren’t more people here.”
The widespread criticism surrounding Apple’s decision to replace the popular Google Maps app with a reportedly buggy version of its mapping software was of no concern to those gathered behind him.
Sandy McCuistion was a late arrival. He thumbed around on his nowancient iPhone 4S as he waited at the rear of the line.
“I’m getting an iPhone 5 for my wife,” he said.
His wife, Christa McCuistion, got to stay in bed.
“It’s for her birthday,” he explained. “She’s got a Droid, and after two years it’s about shot.”
Verizon has been quick to note that it is the only carrier in Chattanooga to offer 4G LTE. Sprint offers traditional 3G service, while AT and TMobile offer a boosted version of 3G called HSPA+. Though they call it 4G, most analysts consider LTE to be “true” 4G, said the Verizon spokeswoman.
“There are a lot of different carriers who say they have 4G, but not all 4G is the same,” Parks said. “Ours is about twice as fast as our competitors.”
On the other hand, Sprint and Verizon don’t allow customers to use voice and data simultaneously, while AT does.
“If I don’t get it today, I’ll have to wait order iphone 5 verizon two weeks,” he fussed. “They have sort of a supply and demand thing where they want everybody to want it, but they don’t want everybody to have it.”
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