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Verizon iPhone 4 launch day a dud due to pre-orders, analyst says

carousel-verizon-iphoneThe Verizon iPhone is finally here! And… nobody cares. At least, that’s the impression given by Thursday’s low turnout.

Verizon and Apple officially released the iPhone 4 on Verzion Wireless Thursday. But despite the fact that people have been talking about an iPhone free of its AT&T chains for as long as the iPhone has been in existence, the crowds were, well, pretty underwhelming, to say the least.

Whereas most Apple releases drew crowds of eager customers, Thursday’s release had little to none of the fanboy fervor we’ve come to expect. As we reported, nearly no one — four people, to be exact — was in line at Apple’s flagship store in New York City yesterday to get their hands on the CDMA-compatible iPhone 4. The SoHo location, which is usually packed for an Apple release, reportedly only had one person in “line.”Many blame cold weather for the low turnout.

Still, the lack of bodies might not be as bad as it seems. According to analyst Brian White of Ticonderoga Securities, the lack in foot traffic was due to a surge in the online variety.

“During some of our store visits yesterday, we were told the traffic was much lower than expected and the strong demand during the pre-order period was the culprit,” said White tells Apple Insider. As White notes, Verizon’s pre-order supply of the iPhone 4 — an estimated 700,000 units — sold out in only 17 hours. “Also,” adds White, “a second pre-order period opened on February 9. Given the extra cold weather this season, some consumers may have opted to wait to purchase a Verizon iPhone 4 or will simply order online.”

White says he expects Verizon to activate around 13.2 million iPhones in the next 12 months, but says that estimate “could prove conservative.”

Enthusiasm for the Verizon iPhone has certainly seemed high. But despite all this optimistic talk, the lack of really any lines at all suggests the launch really did fall short of expectations. Perhaps everyone is simply waiting a few months for the iPhone 5’s release? That would make sense.