iPhone 4 Launches -- to the Moon!

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As I write this, we're smack in the middle of what's turning out to be another blowout day for the folks in Cupertino, Calif. It's the official launch day for Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) new iPhone 4, and folks, it's crazy out there.

Reports are coming in from across the globe of long lines and wait times, despite the fact many of the hopefuls know they won't get their trembling hands on the device before it sells out. In fact, the Associated Press reported that Tokyo, Miami, San Francisco, and Charlotte, N.C. sold out within hours of opening. One man in Chicago sold his spot in line for $500, then bought a new spot in line for $200 ... essentially netting him the new phone for free!

I spoke with Matt Dessert, a friend of Fool tech editor Eric Bleeker, who was the 300th person in line at Seattle's University Village store. He'd come to the Apple store hoping to score an iPhone without a reservation. At 10:15 a.m. he estimated there were still about 1,000 people waiting, despite a sellout looking likely.

"Lining up since 5:00 a.m., I'm officially a nerd," he says. "But judging by this line, being a nerd has gone mainstream."

Let me state the really obvious here: iPhone 4 sales are going to blow away expectations. It's something Apple does routinely, and today is no exception.

What's more, I'm not sure how much of it is priced into the stock. After all, a lot of analyst estimates were based on projections before AT&T (NYSE: T  ) offered its generous upgrade program to existing iPhone users. That promotion -- which allows any customer eligible for an upgrade in 2010 to buy the new phone at the lowest price -- is considered one of the leading reasons behind the explosive demand (600,000 pre-orders on the first day). It's also a neat strategic move that locks in customers for two more years and keeps them away from Verizon (NYSE: VZ  ) , should it become a second carrier for the iPhone.

Now, I'm not one to hype a stock that's already sitting near all-time highs. Anyone buying in now should (as always) have a long-term perspective and be ready for some ups and downs. What I am saying, however, is that intangible bit of Apple genius -- seen in every product from iPod to iPad to iPhone -- is still alive and well, and giving competitors hell.

Fool analyst Rex Moore is waiting for the craziness to die down before he upgrades. He owns no companies mentioned in this article. Apple is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Read/Post Comments (21) | Recommend This Article (45)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On June 24, 2010, at 4:53 PM, Big50Shooter wrote:

    You're ALL geeks with I-Phones....

    Long Live CARBON PAPER!

    Long Live the PENCIL!


    ( I still think Apple is overpriced!)

  • Report this Comment On June 24, 2010, at 4:56 PM, deforge17 wrote:

    "Lining up since 5:00 a.m., I'm officially a nerd," he says. "But judging by this line, being a nerd has gone mainstream."

    uhh.. sorry. nerds don't get iPhones.

    thats like saying street racers are buying civic hybrids.

  • Report this Comment On June 24, 2010, at 5:04 PM, lutece7 wrote:

    Apple will be even MORE overpriced when it hits 300, and 350, and....

    finally a Fool writer writes an upbeat article about AAPL.

  • Report this Comment On June 24, 2010, at 5:42 PM, Babble100 wrote:

    I hope the press will interview the people standing in the lines like they did on iPad release day. I want to hear if anybody can top that guy's quip, when asked why he was buying he iPad, that he'd 'buy Apple's underwear if they sold it.'

    Those are the kind of companies to own.

  • Report this Comment On June 24, 2010, at 6:13 PM, johnkjl wrote:

    I am trying to decide on when to short Apple. Nothing against the products just some underlying industry trends that will impact them pretty soon: 1.cost of data is going to continue to increase. ATT has already dumped unlimited data plans and now has the billing infrastructure to jack up rates as their shareholders demand.

    2. Developers are moving rapidly to more open platforms like Android to avoid the big brother reviews of Apple and the cost of participating in the Apple ecosystem. Would you like to compete with 225,000 apps for some visibility?

    3. Diminishing marginal utility will make upgrades and switches unnecessary. 4. And finally, the iAd strategy is scaring the hell out of enterprise users so Apple will be relegated to a consumer only play.

  • Report this Comment On June 24, 2010, at 6:32 PM, EvilPhD wrote:

    Does anyone remember the G-Processor that Apple clinged to for so long that it choked them nearly to death with their computers before this whole i-crap business came about? They were forced to abandon it because they realized - all too late - that they were deliberately, and severely limiting their potential. After MAC's went to an x86 architecture, their computers started to really take off.

    Apple is doing the same thing with ATT and their proprietary technology in the i-phone. Great people are lined up at ATT stores, but for every one that is lined up for this new i-phone there is another customer that is dissatisfied with the limitations of the i-phone compared to the open architecture of Google's Android phones. There is another customer still that has completely lost patience with ATT. What the heck good is a fancy gadget if you can't use it half the places you go?

    This marks that Apple did not learn from their mistake with the G-processor era, still limiting their own success long term, and allowing other companies to grab up their customers just like in the PC market. Apple's business model needs to become much more user friendly in a hurry if they want the i-phone 4 to last or it will go the way of the G processor.

    Apple is overpriced and over-hyped.

  • Report this Comment On June 24, 2010, at 6:38 PM, Borbality wrote:

    You'd be crazy to short apple, regardless of the reasons or sanity behind doing so. You don't have to buy but I would never bet on their demise.

  • Report this Comment On June 24, 2010, at 7:29 PM, lutece7 wrote:

    You are talking about the PowerPC chip, EvilPhD, that was made by none other than IBM and Motorola. It was actually a superior chip in many ways, but then IBM and Motorola lost interest in developing further for laptop/desktop level computing. Apple was reluctant to switch because of the compatibility issues that they would make their customers have to overcome. It was painful, but I am glad they did it.

    They have had an exclusive deal with AT&T because they make so much money for their stockholders on it. But the rumors continue to mount with ever increasing frequency that there will be either a T-Mobile or a Verizon iPhone coming out before too long.

    the Android looks like a good phone but it doesn't have the iTunes infrastructure. Windows rules the computer world because it has all the "apps." iPhone will rule because it has all the Apps. No one will ever catch up. Apple has always been one or two jumps ahead of everyone else, and I see no reason why it won't continue to be one jump ahead.

    come on everybody.... drink the cool-aid! its quite tasty! LOL

  • Report this Comment On June 24, 2010, at 7:33 PM, jakethesnake0413 wrote:

    Some of you may say short it and that this company is overpriced, but you have to understand something...people will do anything and pay any price to own these products...I own a macbook and two iphones (im not willing to go and stand in line at 5 am because I was too lazy to get a reservation)...the iphones are easy to use and itunes is even easier...of course you can find cheaper phones with open source platforms, or use another software different and cheaper than iTunes...but most consumers dont care...they sold 3 million ipads in 80 days with 1 million more coming...they are not going to choke themselves at all...Verizon wouldnt let Apple control everything so they lost out on the iphone...and i bet they wish they could have taken that offer will continue to make products that consumers will eat up if they keep this up...and in the mean time, their stock will benefit. 3g owners complained, they made 3gs. 3gs owners complained, iphone 4. They release updates to make the masses happy.

  • Report this Comment On June 24, 2010, at 7:47 PM, kidkotch wrote:

    The "masses" are irrational and stupid.

    I love some Apple products but the Iphoney is not one of them. Mainly because it is stuck on At&t, the single worst company in existence as far as mobile providers. People in San Fran bay area with an iphone can't get through a simple 2 minute conversation on an Iphone without drops. Apple really fumbled with it and the sycophants that gobble each iteration of the Iphone up are insane. You can get FAR better service for much less price with Sprint. You can also get far better service for about same price with Verizon. Android will soon be the system to beat. Apple should have woken up and gone to another company first. They will see support drop sharply as Android gets better and better. Personally I hope that Palms Web OS makes it through as well. More competition is better for all of us. That's why Iphone sycophants are as scary as Dittoheads

  • Report this Comment On June 24, 2010, at 8:55 PM, xetn wrote:

    As P. T. Barnum once said: "There's a sucker born every minute." Standing in line to buy a phone is a complete waste of time and money.

  • Report this Comment On June 24, 2010, at 11:05 PM, matthunt97 wrote:

    As always........we are convinced we "need" some sort of fancy electronic gadget while other people in the world go with out basic necessities... Not that the gadget is "evil" or not useful in some form, I just find it curious as to the choices society makes while disregarding other worthy choices. So stand in line for a phone while people are in desperate need..

  • Report this Comment On June 24, 2010, at 11:54 PM, dandles2020 wrote:

    I can respect the people who hate Apple, they don't like their products, they hate the AT&T network, their allergic to fruit, whatever. But there's one thing I don't get, specifically regarding the phones. When they talk about how wonderful Android is, how superior it is, how it's destined to win the smartphone war they never seem to acknowledge ... it's a rip off of the iPhone, isn't it? It's an attempt to capitalize on Apple's success, isn't it? Apple did revolutionize the smartphone market, didn't they? Give credit where credit is due, because you don't have the nice people at Google to thank for your wonderful Android phones, you have Steve Jobs and Apple.

  • Report this Comment On June 24, 2010, at 11:57 PM, olee100 wrote:

    yes, EvilPhD and kidkotch and xetn -

    As a new iPad 3G would-be user (would use it if it worked), ATT will be their death. I've been on the road even more than usual since April 3, and IT DOES NOT WORK more often than it does. Houston Methodist Hospital (where kind people with Verizon and Sprint (bailed me out), Denver Airport, most of western Oklahoma, my own back yard, most of New Mexico - just to name a few. I've been suckered.

  • Report this Comment On June 25, 2010, at 1:28 AM, kenrexb wrote:

    you guys complain a lot!!! if I were you, then move to can use your iphone to whichever carrier you like =P hehehe

  • Report this Comment On June 25, 2010, at 2:55 AM, ET69 wrote:

    It may be true the "masses" are irrational and stupid-----but the masses buy alot of Apple products---so who cares. This is a teens and 20 somethings status symbol. Just like Nike or Starbucks or whatever else the Irrational and stupid masses decide.So you want to make money or not? Buy Apple.

  • Report this Comment On June 25, 2010, at 5:35 AM, oobergeek wrote:

    If you're going to talk about iPhone 4 then why aren't you talking about the hardware disaster with the antenna that is all over the tech press?

  • Report this Comment On June 25, 2010, at 12:43 PM, Borbality wrote:

    The iPhone is far beyond any consumer base that is worried about open-source developing. Fifty-year-olds at work who have no idea how to even charge an iPhone already have one now.

    I'm not buying Apple stock because I missed the boat a long time ago. Something will overthrow them someday, but betting against them would be crazy. Apple can probably charge whatever the hell they want right now and they'd sell MORE somehow.

    Girls buy macbooks, get on facebook, talk about how CUTE it is, and then go back to facebook for iPhone. WHAT A WORLD.

  • Report this Comment On June 25, 2010, at 5:41 PM, KZMike wrote:

    GOOD Grief!!. . . I just realized I'm officially dead or at the least, a non-functioning person in our 'social structure'. . . I don't have an Android or a iPhone! Oh well, at least in my veggie state of existence, I am able to discern the difference between their and there.

  • Report this Comment On June 26, 2010, at 11:43 AM, KZMike wrote:

    AP news headline from Seattle:"IPhone 4 Owners bemoan problems with reception"- "Apple's customer support website is filling up with reception-complaint messages about the new iPhone 4, which went on sale Thursday."

    "A stainless-steel band that wraps around the sides of the iPhone 4 does double duty as the devices antenna, and some users say that covering small black lines lines on the band decreases call signal strength. Others say they can induce 'dropped calls' by holding it a certain way. Apple Inc. says that people should avoid blocking the sensitive part with their hands or buy a case." From Apple of course!

    Sounds like a great revenue enhancement strategy. Wished I had known sooner, since selling AAPL this past week when new 52 week highs were reached on Tuesday.

  • Report this Comment On July 02, 2010, at 1:47 PM, gimponthego wrote:

    It's a safe bet the stock price for AAPL was much lower when you all bought in. Is it possible to buy AAPL next week (when funds settle) and buy 20 shares..and then more as I can. I have thick skin, so no problems there! Have I missed the boat completely? I've made inane, insane trades (like LVS) over the past weeks. I also own BRK/B, JOYG, GG VZ, T, BIG and others. I would appreciate any advice. Thanks, Johnny

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