Verizon Wireless retail locations will open early on Friday, matching Apple’s 8 AM opening time.
Last week retail employees would not confirm plans to open early, but Verizon Wireless’ online store locator now lists stores opening at 8 AM on Friday September 21st, denoting “Special Hours”.
This is good news for shoppers that want to avoid the long lines at Apple Stores and go for a slightly less insane waiting experience at a store closer to home.
This includes official Verizon Wireless corporate kiosks found in malls. These locations are often overlooked, and at the risk of ruining my chances of purchasing an iPhone 5 on release date, are some of the best places to go.
It’s important to make sure you plan to wait outside of a corporate Verizon Wireless store, instead of a premium retailer or reseller. Many of these locations may not open early and may not sell the iPhone 5 on release day.
Users that want to make sure can stop in to a local Verizon Wireless store and ask an employee about the plans. I was able to give my number last week, to get a call with more information when it is available. The store is not holding an iPhone 5 for me, but they are going to call me later this week to let me know where they want buyers to line up and to confirm the early store opening.
If it is anything like the iPhone 4S launch, the employee will let me know if they actually expect to have any models in stock on Friday morning. Again, no specifics, but it lets me know if I need to find another place to try and buy the iPhone 5.
AT&T Wireless and Sprint don’t yet show any early openings, but I expect they will also open at 8 AM on the iPhone 5 release date.
If you call or stop in to a local Verizon, Sprint or AT&T, please be patient with employees who most likely are answering the same iPhone 5 question for the 20th time this hour.