After what seemed an interminable wait, Verizon's version of the iPhone 4 is finally available in retail outlets. Starting today, Apple and Verizon Wireless stores, along with Best Buy and some Wal-Mart stores, are selling the smartphones. Demand is expected to run high, but will the frigid temperatures in some parts of the country--such as here in New York--keep the lines short?

When I arrived at 6:15 a.m. ET it appeared as though they must have let the crowd into the store already...

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Photo by: Sarah Tew / CBS Interactive / Caption by:
As I got closer, however, I realized that these were security staff hanging out in the doorway area, and the other folks scattered around were mostly press.
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Photo by: Sarah Tew / CBS Interactive / Caption by:
These three guys were the only ones in line at that point.
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Photo by: Sarah Tew / CBS Interactive / Caption by:
Over the next half hour or so a few more people showed up--including a bunch of reporters who took turns getting their interviews.
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Photo by: Sarah Tew / CBS Interactive / Caption by:
Inside the store, meanwhile, there appeared to be dozens if not hundreds of Apple staff preparing the store for a mob that was not to be.
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Photo by: Sarah Tew / CBS Interactive / Caption by:
Needless to say, the police barricades were unnecessary.
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Photo by: Sarah Tew / CBS Interactive / Caption by:
CNET's Wilson Tang (left) and Mark Licea showed up to cover the event too.
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Photo by: Sarah Tew / CBS Interactive / Caption by:
Finally 7 a.m. rolls around and the moment we've all been waiting for--the store doors open!--flashes by in mere seconds.
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Photo by: Sarah Tew / CBS Interactive / Caption by:
Like CNET's Maggie Reardon and me, these guys from Fox News have been freezing outside for some time now. Eventually we'll all find a place to warm up.
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Photo by: Sarah Tew / CBS Interactive / Caption by:
Dutiful journalists that we are, we wait for one of those poor freezing souls to emerge victorious with a Verizon iPhone.
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Photo by: Sarah Tew / CBS Interactive / Caption by:
This guy appeared to be the first customer of the day, but we didn't recognize him from the line. It turns out he was just stopping in to pick up an external hard drive.
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Photo by: Sarah Tew / CBS Interactive / Caption by:
Finally the first gent from the iPhone line comes out and grants us a quick interview. And now for a hot breakfast...
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Photo by: Sarah Tew / CBS Interactive / Caption by:
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