Verizon hits sales record with iPhone on Thursday

SAN JOSE, Calif. —Verizon Wireless has ended early ordering for Apple's iPhone 4. Without releasing exact numbers, the carrier on Friday said that it had record first-day sales for the phone.

Verizon suspended iPhone 4 sales Thursday night. First-day sales were limited to Verizon's existing customers.

"This was an exciting day," Verizon Wireless CEO Dan Mead said in a news release Friday. "In just our first two hours, we had already sold more phones than any first-day launch in our history."

With heavy demand for the iPhone 4, numerous technology blogs reported that Verizon's website was overloaded for some customers, especially during the early morning hours. Mead, however, said that "overall, it was a very good day."

"I am proud of our employees who worked tirelessly to strengthen and scale our systems," he said.

Ticonderoga Securities analyst Brian White noted in an e-mail Friday that demand for the Verizon iPhone "was much stronger than originally expected."

"We believe this is quite a statement around the pent-up demand from Verizon customers for the iPhone 4, and we believe this speaks to the potential trajectory of demand with Verizon in 2011," White wrote. "This also provides just another example of why we believe the voracious appetite for Apple products is not yet reflected in the stock price."

In-person sales will begin at 7 a.m. Thursday at Apple Stores and Verizon Wireless stores. The device also will be available at Best Buy and some Walmart stores.

Customers also can order online at the Apple or Verizon websites beginning Wednesday.