iPhone-starved Verizon Wireless customers welcome new gadget

FARGO, N.D. — Katie Elenberger took her doctor's orders for bed rest in stride, especially because her first day of maternity leave coincided with the delivery of her iPhone.

"I've been laying on the couch by my front door all day waiting for the FedEx truck," laughed the expectant mom from her home in Moorhead, Minn. "Getting the iPhone is the highlight of my day."

Elenberger, who works as a graphic designer in Fargo, is among the thousands of people who became iPhone-eligible when AT&T's exclusive deal to carry the Apple gadget ended this week.

Previously excluded from the iPhone club because of AT&T's at-best spotty coverage in this part of the country, cell-phone users in areas of the Dakotas, Montana, Nebraska and Wyoming can now get the phone through the nation's largest wireless carrier, Verizon Wireless.

Verizon says the day it began accepting online orders for the iPhone from existing customers — including Elenberger — produced record sales. The phone became available to the general public on Thursday.

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