The first of about 20 people to line up outside of the AT&T store in the Harry and David Shopping Center for the release of Apple’s iPhone got there at 4:30 p.m. Thursday — more than 24 hours prior to the device’s release.

D.J. Standifer, a recent graduate of North Medford High School, stayed throughout the night and will continue to wait until 6 p.m. today when the phone goes on sale.

“There were power washers going off and trucks driving through,” said Standifer, who spent the night waiting with his friend Skyler Mlasko. “I’ve been waiting for the phone since Steve Job’s (Apple’s CEO) keynote presentation back in January.”

The AT&T store will close at 4:30 p.m. and then reopen an hour and a half later to sell the much-anticipated phone.

The store’s manager, Kathy Galea, would not disclose the amount of phones she has in stock, but said that there is enough for all of the customers currently in line.

“Everyone in line is absolutely guaranteed to get one,” she said.
The device, which comes in 4-gigabyte and 8-gigabyte versions, is being sold only at AT&T’s corporate stores and Apple stores.

Galea’s store is the only retailer between Eugene and Redding that has the phone on hand.

Customers at the AT&T store are only allowed to purchase one phone each, while shoppers at Apple may buy two.

“It’s going to revolutionize the way we use our cell phones,” Galea said. “The phone interface is just so smooth, just like Apple computers.”

Josh Christian, a 35-year-old from Medford, is waiting in line on behalf of his employer, Valley Pawn and Trading Co. The business purchases heavily sought items and then resells them on eBay.

“I’ve seen some of them selling for $2,000,” Christian said. “I was doing some research online and talked to my boss about it and he gave me $600 to come down here.”

Christian set up his blue lawn chair at 7:30 a.m. and has been waiting in line ever since.

“I’m out here getting paid today,” Christian added.

The gadget, which comes with a 3.5-inch display screen, combines the features of various products such as Apple’s iPod, a cell phone and wireless Internet access.

“I’m excited for all of the features it provides,” said Standifer, whose wait has been aided by his family. “My mom and sister work close by and they brought me breakfast this morning.”

To get through the night he said he used rest rooms at nearby businesses.

“Fred Meyer was open the latest,” Standifer said.

— Bob Albrecht