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AT&T sold out of iPhone 4 pre-orders as Best Buy halts white pre-orders

post #1 of 78
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Despite a series of high-tech server meltdowns that prevented many customers from reserving their new iPhone 4 on Tuesday, AT&T managed to sell through its allotment of pre-orders by late afternoon. Meanwhile, Best Buy was asked to halt reservations for white models.

"Because of the incredible interest in iPhone 4, today was the busiest online sales day in AT&T history," AT&T said in a statement. "As of Tuesday afternoon, customers who preorder iPhone 4 moving forward will receive their device on June 25 or later, depending on when the order is placed."

AT&T said it will email customers with confirmation once their order is placed, and again when it ships. Additionally, the carrier said it will have a limited number of devices available on a first-come, first-serve basis in its retail stores beginning on launch day, June 24.

As its servers buckled under the pressure of tens of thousands of eager iPhone buyers, AT&T stores around the country switched to a pen-and-paper reservation method. Unfortunately, however, it appears that those customers who were diverted to that method are unlikely to see their devices arrive on June 24th.

An email later sent to some of these customers states that their device will "ship on or after June 24th," meaning that their orders are unlikely to be filled by the carrier's initial allotment of devices scheduled for customer 'delivery' on the 24th.

As such, AT&T has also blacked out iPhone 4 pre-orders from employees looking to reserve one of the handsets under their employee pricing plan. I an " Important Update for Employees," the carrier said:

"As an ongoing reminder, we ask that employees let our external customers go first to preorder and purchase iPhone 4, to help ensure we can meet demand. iPhone 4 will not be available initially on the discounted employee plans, including the Employee Mobility Offer and Employee Individual Responsibility Accounts (IRU) through the Premier site. These employee accounts will not be eligible for early upgrades either. We will let you know when these policies change. Thanks for your patience!"

Meanwhile, Best Buy began the day taking deposits (image, below) for white iPhone 4s in addition to black models, despite Apple's disclosure that white models would not be available until sometime after the June 24th launch. But around 4pm, the big-box retailer was asked by Apple to cease all reservations for white models.

Image credit: FragTools.

It's unclear whether Best Buy is guaranteeing its reservations to customers. However, similarly-positioned Radio Shack was informed by Apple on Monday that it could no longer use the word "pre-order" as part of its own reservation process, nor could it guarantee customers that they'd receive their iPhone on June 24th, according to people familiar with the matter. Those same people say that Apple allotted the retailer just shy of 100,000 units for its 4,500 shops and online store.
post #2 of 78
Well, I'm number one at my Best Buy, so...assuming they get SOMETHING in Black 32G - I should be covered.

Right?
post #3 of 78
Any conjecture on why the white model seems to be in short supply? Simply much higher demand than black, or some manufacturing reason - perhaps a shortage of unicorn tears?

I have a black 32gb pre-ordered, but if they told me white models would be available by the end of June, I'd cancel and switch ...
post #4 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by zenwaves View Post

Any conjecture on why the white model seems to be in short supply? Simply much higher demand than black, or some manufacturing reason - perhaps a shortage of unicorn tears?

Glad I quit trying for the shipping option and opted to pick it up instead. I managed to get to that screen twice this morning, and hedged my bets by the second time.
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post #5 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by zenwaves View Post

Any conjecture on why the white model seems to be in short supply? Simply much higher demand than black, or some manufacturing reason - perhaps a shortage of unicorn tears?

Clearly a production, quality problem that manifested itself last minute.
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post #6 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kasper View Post

Clearly a production, quality problem that manifested itself last minute.

and from what I keep reading, that's the one everyone wants!
post #7 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by zenwaves View Post

Any conjecture on why the white model seems to be in short supply? Simply much higher demand than black, or some manufacturing reason - perhaps a shortage of unicorn tears?

My guess is that they didn't want to risk producing more white models than needed for the first wave. If they mis-gauged demand, then they could end up with a bunch of a white iPhones sitting around while having to wait-list orders for black. Might as well go with just the default color out of the gate knowing that it will sell regardless.
post #8 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by chronster View Post

and from what I keep reading, that's the one everyone wants!

What are people's opinion regarding The color white... Do you think it makes the screen look small or would it be an obstruction when viewing a video and you want a dark background. These are some of the complaints I have heard and wonder what some of you here think? Thanks.

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post #9 of 78
I was just able to pre-order through Apple Store!
post #10 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

As its servers buckled under the pressure of tens of thousands of eager iPhone buyers, AT&T stores around the country switched to a pen-and-paper reservation method.

post #11 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kasper View Post

Clearly a production, quality problem that manifested itself last minute.

If that's the case kudos to Apple for not shipping the first batches out. Better to make people wait than give them a defective product. Even if it's only cosmetic they shouldn't ship it until it meets standards.

As for the allure of the white model... Maybe it's a little more utilitarian looking? More appliance like? Visual fatigue with glossy/black consumer electronics? It's very retro Mac/iPod looking to me. Plus I think it's going to look super neat with a white background.
post #12 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post

What are people's opinion regarding The color white...

I'm withholding final judgment (and making a purchase) until I see one in my own hands.

In pictures, it looks more "glassy" than the black, and has a depth to it, but the screen and front-facing camera/sensors break up the monolithic face. I think I'm about 60% likely to go for black.
post #13 of 78
8:12PM EDT and I just ordered my black 32GB iPhone from Apple shipped to my home.
It says I just have to plug it in and sync it and it will transfer the phone number.

9 days to go.
post #14 of 78
I stopped by my local AT&T store at about 6 p.m. EST and reserved phones for my wife and I. I was told that I probably would receive mine until the 25th at the earliest, maybe a day or two later. I'm hoping for a tiny miracle and that it will arrive by week's end.
post #15 of 78
I reserved mine at a local AT&T store at 3:07PM Eastern. The manager said that based on last year, he *thinks* I should be OK for the 24th, but, of course, he couldn't promise it. At about 7PM I received said letter from AT&T, so I guess I didn't make the cutoff time.

I can't order from Apple (or even AT&T's site) since AT&T keeps saying that I must pay the $699 no-commitment price, even though I'm simply trying to get the Early Upgrader pricing of $499. The local store charged me the correct amount. Unless AT&T fixes their query that retrieves the pricing, I have no choice but to wait for AT&T to ship my phone. I was really hoping to have the phone for my trip to CA on the 25th. Oh well.
post #16 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by chronster View Post

and from what I keep reading, that's the one everyone wants!

Any examples / links regarding this? It surprises me.
Historically the white has had only a fraction of the popularity of the black model. For this reason, I assume Apple is building / distributing far fewer white units.
However, I could definitly see things being different this time around, as i (personally) find the new case design in white looks MUCH better than the old version ever did in white.
post #17 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by cxc273 View Post

I stopped by my local AT&T store at about 6 p.m. EST and reserved phones for my wife and I. I was told that I probably would receive mine until the 25th at the earliest, maybe a day or two later. I'm hoping for a tiny miracle and that it will arrive by week's end.

I ordered mine from an AT&T Store around 5:20pm EDT, and was told probably the 25th too.... the morning I'm leaving for vacation

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post #18 of 78
Looks like white is the new black.

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post #19 of 78
How come Best Buy takes preorders for White when even Apple does not?

Did someone not read the memo?
post #20 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

How come Best Buy takes preorders for White when even Apple does not?

Because Best Buy wants customers. They never guaranteed they were going to have white ones, just preorder for it. Whenever it comes out, then you can get it.
post #21 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by isaidso View Post

Any examples / links regarding this? It surprises me.
Historically the white has had only a fraction of the popularity of the black model. For this reason, I assume Apple is building / distributing far fewer white units.
However, I could definitly see things being different this time around, as i (personally) find the new case design in white looks MUCH better than the old version ever did in white.

But previously, wasn't white only available in the higher capacity, more expensive model? I know when I bought my 3G, white was not available for the 8gb model.
post #22 of 78
They didn't run out of white. Apple never took any pre-orders for white and Best Buy/Radio Shack was never supposed to.

My guess is that they simply didn't get enough white units made/ready to ship on time.
post #23 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post

What are people's opinion regarding The color white... Do you think it makes the screen look small or would it be an obstruction when viewing a video and you want a dark background. These are some of the complaints I have heard and wonder what some of you here think? Thanks.

When I was unable to order white, I consoled myself with the sour grapes theory that it would indeed distract from the screen itself, as you mentioned.
post #24 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post

What are people's opinion regarding The color white... Do you think it makes the screen look small or would it be an obstruction when viewing a video and you want a dark background. These are some of the complaints I have heard and wonder what some of you here think? Thanks.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/techdar...82434/sizes/l/

^Take a look here if you're curious. The display (shown here using iMovie) still looks gorgeous to me! I'm waiting (assuming it's not forever) for the white one because

1) The back looks very classy. The white front might look a little cheesy though.

2) It will hide fingerprints and dust much better than black.

3) The white body combined with stainless steel band just looks amazing in my opinion. Like milk and champagne!
post #25 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

Because Best Buy wants customers. They never guaranteed they were going to have white ones, just preorder for it. Whenever it comes out, then you can get it.

Pretty sneaky, but that is the way they operate. I can see them selling customers the Bumpers by convincing them it's the only way to get bumper-to-bumper coverage on the iPhone.
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post #26 of 78
For anyone curious how BB was taking orders for white iPhone 4's:

I myself actually ordered one earlier today from my local store -- around 2:00, I was shocked that I was only the 15th pre-order for the day -- and was frankly shocked that they offered white (considering that I read this site frequently), but the store staff assured me that it was available for pre-order.

Around 8:00PM, the store called me back and said that they couldn't offer me white after all, and that I'd have to come back to the store and get my order changed to black if I still wanted one on release.

Long story short: no one told BB that whites weren't offered.
post #27 of 78
I'm guessing the launch in Canada and other countries not included in the initial launch is likely going to be pushed back, huh? Nice problem to have for Apple...
post #28 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

How come Best Buy takes preorders for White when even Apple does not?

Did someone not read the memo?

I was wondering the same.



Also.. My 2 cents regarding possible reasons for the delay of white Iphone 4 :

-Sensor "screen" above earpiece a last minute problem since this seems to be the only visible difference, other than color.

-sales tactic to increase allure and demand --black first, then let it ramp up and release the white..
post #29 of 78
I want white just because I am tired of looking at black on the face. My 3GS is white on the back but it's in a Speck case all the time so I never see it. Plus a white iPhone 4 face reveals it's an iPhone 4 without you having to say so.

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post #30 of 78
I ordered my iPhone at 9:31 EM EST and I got the same message: "Pre-orders will be fulfilled beginning June 24, 2010. Orders will ship on a first-come, first-served basis." Another friend ordered at 6 AM EST and got the same message.

Not really sure how accurate is the delivery date.
post #31 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by ngsebastian View Post

I ordered my iPhone at 9:31 EM EST and I got the same message: "Pre-orders will be fulfilled beginning June 24, 2010. Orders will ship on a first-come, first-served basis." Another friend ordered at 6 AM EST and got the same message.

Not really sure how accurate is the delivery date.

Have you received a confirmation number or had the total funds deducted from your account?
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post #32 of 78
Yes, I did get the confirmation email and the .I just checked the credit card account and nothing was charged.

If I go to the order status page I see the order is passed "received" and it's in the "processing" state.

Initially right after I placed the order the status was "receiced" only.

This is the email that I got from AT&T as the confirmation email at 9AM EST. A similar email was sent at 6AM EST.

Code:

Dear XXXXXXXXX,

Thank you for your purchase from the AT&T Premier Online Store. We're pleased with your choice of AT&T as your wireless service provider.

Pre-orders will be fulfilled beginning June 24, 2010. Orders will ship on a first-come, first-served basis. We will notify you by email when your order ships. Your order may be subject to AT&T eligibility and credit requirements. If we have any questions about your eligibility or your order, we will contact you via email.

Note: Do not attempt to active your device until you have received it.

You can view the status of your order (https://www.wireless.att.com/business/order_status/) in AT&T Premier Online Store at any time.

Reference Web Order Number: XYXYXYXYXYX


Once you have received your wireless device, you can activate it online by following these steps:

Click the registration link https://www.wireless.att.com/XYSXYSXYSXYSYXYS

OR

1. Click this link or copy and paste it into your browser: http://wireless.att.com/businesscenter/activations/

2. Follow the prompts on the screen and enter the following numbers:

Order Number: XYXYXYXYXYX
Activation Number: VVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVV

Note: Be sure to retain this informationit is required for online activation.

If you bought backordered items, we'll ship in-stock merchandise first and then complete your order with a separate shipment. Multiple backordered items will ship when all items are in stock.


Thank you,
post #33 of 78
So anyone that waited in line and had their order placed by paper and pen won't be getting their phones on the 25th. I'm so pissed off at AT&T I feel like canceling my whole damn order.

I mean Jesus it's one thing after another with this company.
post #34 of 78
they started to turn into yellow macbooks?
post #35 of 78
LOL, it looks like the iPad situation again, Apple pretty soon will have nothing to sell in its stores except iPod touches, iMacs, and Macbooks Because all iPhones and iPads are out of stock... all the time
post #36 of 78
ordered a 32G black for myself and a 16G black for my wife at ATT at 10am EST... order was taken by paper, no approval, no notification of any kind, no time stamp on my paper order, just today's date.

we will probably be getting our phones in august.
post #37 of 78
Got my 32gb at 1:04 AM on at&t's site (guess I was lucky) at about 1pm after hours of trying a girl at work was able to reserve one for the apple store near us for the 24th
post #38 of 78
Okay! I placed my pre-order through Apple Store and here is the confirmation e-mail I got -

>>
Thanks for reserving your iPhone. It will be here June 24.

When you come in to pick up your iPhone, you'll be part of an exciting launch at the Apple Retail Store. We'll have Specialists ready to transfer your contacts, set up email, and help you get apps so your iPhone is just the way you like it. We can't wait to see you at the store.

Sincerely,
The Apple Retail Store team

Pickup Date and Time:
June 24 starting at 7:00 a.m.

Please note that your reservation will be held until close of business on June 24.

Pickup Location:
%storeLocationAddress%

See store hours and get directions
http://www.apple.com/retail/paloalto/map

Be sure to bring these items with you:
- A valid, government-issued photo ID
- Your Social Security number
- A debit or credit card

Reserved Items:

1
iPhone 4 16GB : Black



Your Rate Plan:
Unlimited $nn.nn
Pay Per Use $nn.nn

Cancel your reservation
http://reserve.apple.com/WebObjects/...tCancelPickup?.......

-------------------------------------------------------------

Pre-authorization does not guarantee iPhone availability at an Apple Retail Store. iPhone is sold on a first-come, first-served basis.

Your reservation is valid for pickup only at the Apple Retail Store that you selected.

If you do not collect your selected item(s) by the designated date and time, your reservation will be canceled.
....

>>

There was no prompt for credit card information. Could be because I had selected pick up from store. My only concern is this -

"Pre-authorization does not guarantee iPhone availability at an Apple Retail Store. iPhone is sold on a first-come, first-served basis."
post #39 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by acslater017 View Post

http://www.flickr.com/photos/techdar...82434/sizes/l/

^Take a look here if you're curious. The display (shown here using iMovie) still looks gorgeous to me! I'm waiting (assuming it's not forever) for the white one because

1) The back looks very classy. The white front might look a little cheesy though.

2) It will hide fingerprints and dust much better than black.

3) The white body combined with stainless steel band just looks amazing in my opinion. Like milk and champagne!

It is striking how a simple design change makes the white look so cool, where before it really looked unappealing to me.
post #40 of 78
I think there is a good chance you can get an iPhone 4 on the launch day if you line up early, considering some people opted for in-store pickup, then were able to place order for delivery. Well, just hoping.
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