The Basking Ridge, N.J.-based carrier, which began taking orders for its existing customers on Wednesday, sold out shortly after 8 p.m. on Thursday.
Customers can still get their hands on the device by lining up at Verizon stores at 7 a.m. local time on February 10, or at Best Buy retailers on the same day on a first-come, first-served basis.
The rush of buyers is a good sign for things to come. Analysts expect from 9 to 13 million Verizon iPhones to be sold this year alone, as the carrier ramps up for a bitter fight to draw high-end customers from AT&T.
To draw even more defectors from AT&T, Verizon is offering — for a limited-time — a $30 a month unlimited data plan with new iPhone purchases, a move that prompted AT&T to sweeten its $25 a month data plan.
Meanwhile, AT&T is insisting that Verizon isn’t prepared for the crippling network congestion that it has dealt with from data-hungry iPhone owners.
“I’m not sure iPhone users are ready for life in the slow lane,” said Mark Siegel, a spokesperson for AT&T.
But Verizon maintains that it won’t have the same problems, after investing heavily in infrastructure upgrades. To hedge its aggressive push, yesterday, it added a new policy giving it the right to slow down data service for the heaviest-bandwidth users.
Verizon is selling the 16-gigabyte model for $200, and the 32-gigabyte version for $300 — both priced with a two-year contract.