Verizon iPhone 4 crowds non-existent in NYC

iPhone on VerizonDespite a tsunami of hype surrounding the long-awaited Verizon iPhone 4 launch, almost no one showed up for pre-hours at Apple’s flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York City Thursday morning, reports CNET. But Apple and Verizon Wireless shouldn’t get too alarmed just yet — it was pretty cold, which could have contributed to the lack of lines.

The Verizon iPhone officially went on sale in stores Thursday morning at 7 am EST.

Release of the iPhone is usually met by crowds of people, who suffer in long lines for hours at a time, just to be one of the first to get their hands on the new device.

The Verizon iPhone 4 is, for all intents and purposes, identical to the AT&T version (save some internal bits, like a different antenna and a CDMA-compatible chip, that most consumers aren’t going to notice). So it’s not a typical new release in the same way the iPhone 5 will be.

That said, pre-order sales of the Verizon iPhone implied a fervor of interest among consumers. According to Verizon, their inventory of pre-order iPhone 4s sold out within 24 hours, and broke company sales records only two hours into pre-order sales.

A recent study estimates that 2.5 million AT&T subscribers — who have had exclusive access to the iPhone in the U.S. until now — plan to jump ship, and switch over to Verizon in the hopes of improved service.

Of course, sales numbers will begin to be released later in the day, and we’ll get a better picture of how well the Verizon iPhone is selling, regardless of what the lack of crowds outside one store might imply. It would, however, be surprising if Verizon and Apple can’t call the release a success. (And even if it’s not, they’ll call it a success anyway.)

Watch a CNET report on the few who lined up for Thursday’s Verizon iPhone release in NYC: