Originally Posted by anfboymn
Target still has preorders available for pickup on the 21st.
Target does NOT have the iphone5 (I just checked, both online and through their order phone number). Please let me know how you were able to preorder one - I think you were given incorrect information.
Things I know (I checked at the stores):
Walmart: they will only have subsidized phones available after the 21st (they didn't get unsubsidized 4S phones for sale until 3 months ago, so Apple is controlling inventory tightly until supplies get good enough to release to retailers.
Best Buy: they do not have availability of Sep 21st delivery at all for preorder, and cannot promise any delivery schedule
ATT: They will NOT have unsubsidized phones available for purchase at the stores on the 21st - only subsidized ones.
Apple: you cannot preorder unsubsidized phones yet, but supposedly they will be available at the stores on the 21st.
Bottom line: Except for Apple, all other retailers have scattershot availability designed to give the carriers an advantage in being able to provide subsidized phones for preorder - this HAS to have been written into the Apple/Carrier contracts - otherwise, the inventory would be such at ATT that they would be happy to sell you an unsubsidized one - but not so, they don't have enough inventory, so they will only sell to get you to sign up for another 2 years. Certainly, enough folks will come in after the 21st to sell out of these phones, and they will only sell unsubsidized phones when they get enough, and they see a significant, and calculated, drop-off in subsidized orders, to warrant releasing unsubsidized ones for purchase.
All of this makes sense when you place it in terms of inventory control/management, but begs the question of the increase in international sales, in light of obvious shortages of phones to be sold domestically.
Apple is obviously trying to delicately balance domestic displeasure with capturing new international markets - a delicate job indeed, but one that Tim Cook, et al are capable of handling.
Apple is more and more deciding that they can piss off the preorder folks all they want (after all, they have your money, and you are obviously in the Apple camp to stay). However, they certainly pissed off lots of folks who preordered (me included) when they promised me last week that I could indeed buy an unsubsidized phone online - I instead could ONLY place a subsidized ATT order, which I did expecting the 21st delivery date, but then was further pissed off when my delivery date was shown as 2-3 weeks, even though I placed my order within 45 minutes of midnight. Anyhow, I cancelled my order (not easy to do, and I had to get angry with the Apple store, when they directed me to do so online, which was impossible - they finally agreed to help me on the spot, and contacted the online Apple person, miraculously by phone, and a nice lady cancelled my order.
I plan on visiting the Apple store on Friday, the 21st, to try to purchase my unsubsidized ATT phone, which is all I was trying to do in the first place - what a way to do business.
Edited by Bagman - 9/15/12 at 6:11pm