Image: Line outside Sprint
Eric Risberg  /  AP
A line of people, wanting to purchase the new Apple iPhone 4S, wait in line for a Sprint store to open in San Francisco, Friday, Oct. 14, 2011.
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updated 10/14/2011 3:29:39 PM ET 2011-10-14T19:29:39

Apple stores got the longest lines on iPhone launch day, but there were lines at Sprint stores too, as the carrier got a chance to sell the phone more than four years after the first model was launched.

Sprint Nextel Corp. is joining bigger carriers AT&T and Verizon Wireless as a seller of the phone. Spot checks in Philadelphia and San Francisco showed that the lines outside Sprint stores were longer than at its rivals.

Sprint is struggling to compete with the bigger carriers and expects the iPhone to help it keep subscribers.

It will be paying a lot of money to do so: It's subsidizing each iPhone 4S by about $400 to get it down to the $200 price for the 16 gigabyte version.

Story: Fans line up for iPhone despite criticism

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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