In my area the launches for both the iPhone 4 and 4s created very little stir so you could walk in the store late in the evening on launch day and walk out with an iPhone (we have several VZW corporate stores, but no Apple store (although we also have several of each retailer that also sold iPhones...and did pre-orders for the iPhone 5). This time around though people seemed to be far more interested because the iPhone 5 sold out everywhere here...twice in the largest VZW corporate store in the state (mid-day they received another shipment and sold out of those). If you went by the previous launches you would have skipped the pre-order and just went to one of the stores...and been very disappointed...so even using the history theory seems to be difficult to go by this time.
they sold out here too, but not immediately. if you showed up around opening time, you got one. now i wouldn't recommend going in at 5 or 6 o'clock......but even with their "record sales" you were able to show up and buy one without camping out or anything.
First of all I don't upgrade every time the iphone comes out. This is the first time i am getting the iphone and i am upgrading from a droid which i don't feel is as good as the iphone. If you work for verizon you should be fired for your reply's.