SCORES of people queued outside a Newcastle store last night for their chance to get one of the first iPhones to go on sale in the UK.
Shoppers waited eagerly outside Carphone Warehouse in the city’s Northumberland Street, where the new gadgets went on sale at 6.02pm precisely – tying in O2 as the only network provider.
The Apple iPhone, also sold at Apple and O2 stores across the country, marries the successful iPod with a mobile phone, making it a must for technology fans.
The internet enabled, touch screen mobile phone is said to combine revolutionary design with widescreen iPod so users can enjoy music, audio and video content.
Simon Woodman, a 28-year-old researcher at Newcastle University was among the first in the queue.
“The phone looks cool. I’ve always had Apple products for years and years. This will be an interesting experience.”
He said he thought the phone warranted its £269 price tag.
Matthew Partington, a 26-year-old PHD student at Newcastle University, said he had been waiting for a phone for close to a year.
“Apple had a conference and broadcast it across the internet in January and I decided I wanted one of them. It is the functionality of it all. Having the iPod integrated into it is good so you can carry it in your pocket.
“But the web part is the best, being able to get on to the internet and access email.”
Maria Yaylenko, 23, from Moscow, Russia, studies business at Northumbria University and lives in the city centre.
“The design of the phone first attracted me. The mix of entertainment and business is what makes it so cool.
“I’ve been asking when it was coming on sale a few times in the store. I’m excited to be getting one.”
Carphone Warehouse area manager David Fovargha said the firm was expecting to sell 39,000 phones nationwide over the next couple of days.
He said: “I have never known anything like this before.
“It is the most exciting product that has come out in mobile phones.
“It married up the two most popular things, the iPod and mobile phone which makes it a winning formula.”
Customers queued to purchase and have a demo of the phone shown to them.
Darren Grainger, a 37-year-old teacher of Gateshead had a demonstration.
“It is a fantastic piece of kit. To have all the devices you could want on one phone is brilliant. It’s bigger than I expected though.”
Sairam, Vavilala, 20, a Newcastle College student from Gosforth, Newcastle, bought a phone after seeing his mother’s.
“My mum already has one in the USA so I’ve wanted one for a while.
“It feels good to have got it. I’ll be spending tonight going through it.”
The store was staying open until the last customer had been served and was due to reopen today.