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Tight supply of iPhone 3G leaves customers waiting for hours

post #1 of 45
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Two weeks after it launched on July 11, the iPhone 3G is still hard to find in the US. Many Apple retail stores have no supplies at all, leaving buyers to track down the stores that do have remaining stock and wait in slow moving lines that stretched out for five hours.

The 3G iPhone Availability web page, run by Chris Barnes using updates from Apple's retail store availability feed, indicates that less than half of the US Apple retail stores are currently reporting units in stock. Of 188 US stores, 51% had inventories of the white 16 GB model, 44% had some 8 GB units, and only 40% had the black 16 GB version.

Apple only reports whether each store will have some units available the next day, not how many each store has or will be receiving; supplies can run out quickly, and sometimes the availability report isn't even accurate, as some stores have indicated that they had supplies when they did not. Flagship locations such as the landmark store on New York's Fifth Avenue and the Union Square San Francisco store appear to receive more stock, but also sell out quickly due to high foot traffic.

On Wednesday, only one of the three Apple retail stores in San Francisco had any units in stock by late morning; the Chestnut and Union Square stores were completely sold out, leaving hopeful customers the only option of standing in line waiting for an estimated "three to five" hours at Stonestown Galleria. AT&T's retail stores also reported being completely sold out in the City.

The line at the Apple Store in the Stonestown mall, located deep in the southwest residential corner of San Francisco and far from any tourist attractions, appeared to only be fifteen people deep at the door (below top), but the line continued outside the mall on the sidewalk (below bottom), with Apple store employees shuttling in waiting users a half dozen at a time as space allowed inside.





One enterprising young man standing toward the front of the line was trying to sell his spot for $400, but said if he'd known from the start that he'd have to wait five hours to get there, he wouldn't have waited. A food court fortune cookie suggested that the wait would be worth it: "Your labors will bear sweet fruit."



Delayed by activation issues

While supplies of the iPhone 3G are constrained worldwide due to strong demand, The primary reason for the long lines has been the added requirement for in-store activation. Unlike the original iPhone, the new model must be set up with a contract in the store. Last year, some users ran into problems with Apple's novel home activation process through iTunes, but the process was quite smooth for most buyers. Those who had problems didn't delay those who didn't. This year, problematic activations are holding up everyone.

The downside to home activation with the original iPhone was that it allowed users to buy iPhones and unlock them for use with other carriers, either T-Mobile in the US or any other GSM provider worldwide. Apple received a mobile service revenue share from iPhone sales, but only those activated with AT&T or its official partners in Europe. Pundits complained that Apple could potentially eventually "lose" a billion dollars in mobile service revenue from unlocked phones, but the company's own executives downplayed the problem, noting that they only viewed unlocked phones as evidence of strong demand overseas.

The iPhone 3G requirement for in store activation removes the unlocking issue, but the real reason for binding a mobile contract sale to the phone purchase is that Apple is now selling the iPhone with a traditional mobile provider subsidy, which allows the company to advertise a much lower price, either $199 for the 8 GB version or $299 for the 16 GB model. The end result is that the few users who run into activation problems delay everyone else buying the iPhone 3G.

Some customers fail credit checks or arrive without identification or their social security number or lacking a credit card in their name. Some existing AT&T users have a phone contract on a business account or family plan, which can pose a problem if they are not the primary account holder. Others have a discount mobile plan related to their employer, which must be removed prior to signing up for an iPhone account.

AT&T customers who have already received a subsidized price for new phone within the last several months may have to pay a higher price to migrate over the iPhone 3G, although existing iPhone users do not face any penalty.

Mobile launch crisis

However, the biggest problems related to new iPhone 3G activations have plagued users from other carriers hoping to move their existing number to a new AT&T plan. Mobile providers in the US are supposed to offer number portability on demand, but many customers don't realize they'll need their existing mobile account number, resulting in a prolonged, in-store telephone transaction in order to set up their new plan.

The activation situation isn't any different for other mobile phones, but the iPhone 3G launch has been particularly plagued with delays because there is far higher demand for it compared other phones, and most competing units are available from a wider selection of stores. Further, the simpler initial launch of the first iPhone last year makes the 3G model's introduction appear to be a catastrophe in comparison.

In Europe, the iPhone 3G launch has been at least as clumsy if not more so, as sales are being handled primarily by mobile partners rather than in Apple's own stores. In Switzerland, Swisscom representatives at multiple stores were refusing to sell iPhones to users who had existing contracts with the company, telling them to return in a few months when their existing contract was up. That's not the official policy of the provider, but rather an issue with sales training.

In the US, Apple has exerted more control over the launch and the training of its salespeople, down to the subtle details. While European sales agents ripped open iPhone 3G boxes to set up the units during activation, Apple Store employees followed a careful transaction script that involved handing the new box to the customer to open. Stress related to the activation complications and high demand have taken a toll on Apple's retail representatives, resulting in at least two employees being fired for walking off the job at San Francisco's downtown store.

Undaunted iPhone 3G interest

The activation complications have resulted in an average wait of 15 minutes or more per person. Even with five retail employees servicing new iPhone 3G buyers in the store non-stop, each store is limited to setting around 20 units per hour in ideal conditions. The extremely long waits and complicated transactions associated with the iPhone 3G haven't scared away customers however.

In San Francisco, around 40 people were waiting in line Wednesday afternoon at Stonestown Mall. The line included a wide spectrum of buyers, from businessmen in suits talking about corporate support for the iPhone to college students upgrading from the iPod touch. Some were current iPhone users, but most of those waiting were new to the iPhone. Apple employees frequently serviced the line, asking for information from current AT&T customers to ensure that they were eligible for the "incentive" price advertised for the iPhone 3G, and reminding users of what they'd need to complete their contract activation before making it to the front of the line.

New supply shipments should help accommodate demand in the coming weeks. Some of those waiting in line suggested ordering the iPhone 3G from AT&T online, avoiding the slow moving lines at retail stores. Online sales don't require standing around in line for hours, but do involve a roughly five day wait. That's too long of a delay to those currently waiting for hours in line.

After a half hour long wait, the iPhone 3G line progressed by about ten people, while another dozen new people joined the end of the queue. By 6 PM, the line was closed to new customers in order to get those currently waiting set up before the store closed at 9 PM. Those who only had to wait three hours were lucky; everyone in line prior to that had waited at least five hours to receive their phone.

A few interested buyers left the line after being informed by Apple employees that their existing plan had complications they'd need to resolve with their employer before making the purchase. Others were no doubt turned away by the prospect of spending most of the afternoon waiting in line. The iPhone 3G line even left a number of store visitors confused about whether they could enter the store to make other purchases.
post #2 of 45
Why is this still considered "news"?
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post #3 of 45
The whole thing is B.S.

Why would ANYONE in the US buy an iPhone 3G to unlock and use on TMobile... they don't even have a 3G network! What is AT&T afraid of? The international market doesn't need to buy unlocked phones on eBay now, as they have sales in their own countries.

If AT&T really needs to tie each sale to a contract, then have the purchase done online.. the credit check, the purchase, the contract signing. Then you get a confirmation # email you bring to Apple to walk in, buy the iPhone, take home, and activate.

Is the benefit of the current method really worth pissing off the million legal, valid customers? It's like DRM.. bringing the hammer down on everyone because of perceived loss of potential extra revenue.
post #4 of 45
the whole thing is weird ...

what will happen with next version of iPhone, everyone needs to wait 5 hours? huh thats bad ...

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post #5 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thataboy View Post

The whole thing is B.S.

Why would ANYONE in the US buy an iPhone 3G to unlock and use on TMobile... they don't even have a 3G network! What is AT&T afraid of? The international market doesn't need to buy unlocked phones on eBay now, as they have sales in their own countries.

If AT&T really needs to tie each sale to a contract, then have the purchase done online.. the credit check, the purchase, the contract signing. Then you get a confirmation # email you bring to Apple to walk in, buy the iPhone, take home, and activate.

Is the benefit of the current method really worth pissing off the million legal, valid customers? It's like DRM.. bringing the hammer down on everyone because of perceived loss of potential extra revenue.

Yeah but if they can activate at home then they won't buy any of the fancy accesories Apple and AT&T have plastered all over their walls.
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post #6 of 45
I would expect Apple to give this kind of a checklist to those in line so they can deal with things like having their social security number. After nearly two weeks experience with those problems that's sad, bad organization.
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post #7 of 45
Quote:
Apple recieved a mobile service revenue share ...

Yes, I suppose it's better getting stories quickly, rather than to do any kind of proofreading.

Remember ... "i" before "e" except after "c."


As for my own iPhone, I will have to wait for some kind of saturation to take place in the stores. I will be dropping my existing T-Mobile contract, with more than a year left on it, by going to
HTML Code:
http://www.celltradeusa.com
. This costs only 20.00, but when someone takes over my contract, I would be completely without a phone if I couldn't go straight to an Apple or AT&T store to buy the 3G. Oh well, I'll be patient.

Another option, BTW, is
HTML Code:
http://www.cellswapper.com
.

Anybody had experiences with either of these?
post #8 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thataboy View Post

The whole thing is B.S.

Why would ANYONE in the US buy an iPhone 3G to unlock and use on TMobile... they don't even have a 3G network! What is AT&T afraid of? The international market doesn't need to buy unlocked phones on eBay now, as they have sales in their own countries.

In my opinion, 3G doesn't seem to be a big deal. iPhone isn't a very swift device anyway, WiFi, Edge or 3G, it's not anywhere nearly as fast as a desktop or notebook computer. Opening a web page on 3G still feels pretty darn slow.
post #9 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by shutterrelease View Post

Yeah but if they can activate at home then they won't buy any of the fancy accesories Apple and AT&T have plastered all over their walls.

I don't think that makes any sense, I need you to explain that better.

My perspective: let's say you want to buy the thing. You're already in the store. How does activating in-store vs. at home determine whether the customer would buy accessories at the store?
post #10 of 45
People, the iPhone store checker is useless because any shipments of iPhone 3Gs to a store are going to be immediately bought out. So your local store may actually be receiving shipments but none are left at 9pm when the store closes.

Easiest way to find out is to either a) camp out at your local Apple store at 7am until they open or b) call around 10-10:30am when they usually receive shipments from UPS to see if they actually came in that day.
post #11 of 45
It's amazing that despite the ongoing screw-ups and now technical problems being reported, people are still willing to endure the pain and possible additional issues to have that bloody phone. Good news for all AAPL holders, I guess... teh Steve still has 'em all fooled.

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post #12 of 45
"Others have a discount mobile plan related to their employer, which must be removed prior to signing up for an iPhone account."

Not exactly.

I was told, at the Apple store Bethesda, MD that I had to order my 3G iPhone from the AT&T store. no options.

I placed an order 7/19/2008 - I am still waiting.

Brian
post #13 of 45
I'm an existing AT&T customer who's had his current motorola KRZR since January of 2007. In other words my phone is 18 months old and my contract expires in 6 months.

Dispite first logging onto the att.com/appleupgrade site, then calling customer service, then going to a store, I've been told I cannot get an iPhone at the $199 rate until October 23rd of this year.

Reps have told me that I can upgrade to any other type of phone, no problem. But for the iPhone they cannot override the upgrade eligability. This is pretty annoying to say the least and I'm not sure why the policy is in place. As multiple sites have shown I"ll be paying more to AT&T over the life of my contract iwth the new iPhone. I figure they'd want the increase revenue ASAP.

Also, makes me wonder how many current AT&T customers are in the same boat. I'd guess a WHOLE LOT OF THEM, since I only have 6 months left in my current contract.
post #14 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post

People, the iPhone store checker is useless because any shipments of iPhone 3Gs to a store are going to be immediately bought out. So your local store may actually be receiving shipments but none are left at 9pm when the store closes.

Easiest way to find out is to either a) camp out at your local Apple store at 7am until they open or b) call around 10-10:30am when they usually receive shipments from UPS to see if they actually came in that day.

The easiest way to find out is to check use the iPhone checker site. It's kept up to date throughout the day. You can even check it before your local 9pm time by changing your system time or by using that one site that does it all for you (I'm too lazy to locate it).


Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

It's amazing that despite the ongoing screw-ups and now technical problems being reported, people are still willing to endure the pain and possible additional issues to have that bloody phone. Good news for all AAPL holders, I guess... teh Steve still has 'em all fooled.

The first few days I can understand, but why didn't these people no just pay for it at an AT&T store and pick it up the following week when they are called. I was called yesterday for my 4th iPhone 3G which I ended up declining anyway. They said it would have to be shipped back to the warehouse, but that seems excessive when they can just sell it in the store.

edit: Just saw this explaining this is(was) the way to go...
http://gizmodo.com/5028669/all-att-i...+pay-customers
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post #15 of 45
They could've avoided much of this angst by offering it at the higher price and giving a $200 (or whatever) rebate at activation with AT&T; this would have solved the "issues" they were concerned about and alleviated the line situation. Now as far as the server and mobileme SNAFUS, that's a different story.

I got lucky and walked into a store a week after launch with no line and was out in 20 minutes with a newly activated phone. If that hadn't happened, who knows if they would have ever secured my business....
post #16 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

In my opinion, 3G doesn't seem to be a big deal. iPhone isn't a very swift device anyway, WiFi, Edge or 3G, it's not anywhere nearly as fast as a desktop or notebook computer. Opening a web page on 3G still feels pretty darn slow.

I am one of the luckier ones and just had to wait in line for 1.5 hrs on the 12th. I have found that the 3G is much faster than EDGE buy a big difference in download larger web pages (ESPN.com). Also, in comparison to the iTouch with wifi, 3G is slower than wifi. I have done some side buy side comp. with both devices on wifi, and the iPhone is slightly faster than the iTouch.

I use the 3G feature when I'm home, in the car and web surfing/emailing large info. (for reason to concerve battery for voice function). Other than that, I leave the edge on only and have found the service, battery life and connection to be above average-average. I can go the whole day without going past 1/4 battery life, for about 45-60min of talk and 20 minutes of web use. Buy using the 3G part time, and closing wifi and bluetooth, I feel that it extends the battery big time.
post #17 of 45
I don't get it, why don't the apple stores hang out a sign that people need to make an appointment for buying an iphone?
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post #18 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by drazztikka View Post

I don't get it, why don't the apple stores hang out a sign that people need to make an appointment for buying an iphone?

How would that work? They'd have to be able to assure supply of your model come appointment time.
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post #19 of 45
Ordered a black 16G and a white 16G from ATT - the white came in 24 hours (not waiting in line) - no word on the black - but ATT said 10 - 20 days - although people have been receiving more quickly than that.
post #20 of 45
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post #21 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by schralp View Post

They could've avoided much of this angst by offering it at the higher price and giving a $200 (or whatever) rebate at activation with AT&T;

That would defeat the purpose of marketing the lower $199 price point and advertising it as "half the price" of the original iPhone. Even though we all know it costs more in the end, the lower intial sales price has a strong psychological attraction.

What's surprising is even with the unbearable long waits in line and issues with the 2.0 software, Apple still can't supply iPhones fast enough. That says alot about people's desire for a good mobile phone experience.
post #22 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

How would that work? They'd have to be able to assure supply of your model come appointment time.

Maybe not appointment, but rather, place an order. When it comes in, get a call and go down and pick it up.

This is what I did at AT&T rather than give my idle time away for free to Apple standing in line.

The problem is that Apple doesn't seem mind making people stand in line for hours only to not walk away with the product. Apple won't mind if their sheep / customers are willing to put up with that sort of treatment as a form of marketing.
post #23 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by 0SX View Post

What's surprising is even with the unbearable long waits in line and issues with the 2.0 software, Apple still can't supply iPhones fast enough. That says alot about people's desire for a good mobile phone experience.

That can be taken a few ways. Is the status symbol more important than the device that despite the v2.0 software issues* people are still willing to get rid of their other phones or are other phones so poorly designed that even with the v2.0 issues the iPhone is still the best option available.


* Most people are probably not aware of any software issues with the new iPhone, but they aware of how they feel about their current phone.
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post #24 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Maybe not appointment, but rather, place an order. When it comes in, get a call and go down and pick it up.

This is what I did at AT&T rather than give my idle time away for free to Apple standing in line.

The problem is that Apple doesn't seem mind making people stand in line for hours only to not walk away with the product. Apple won't mind if their sheep / customers are willing to put up with that sort of treatment as a form of marketing.

I ordered from AT&T that, too. I figure that some people don't have the forethought to see what options they have before going to an Apple Store. There are reports of people standing in line for hours not realizing they have to sign a contract with AT&T. I figures others just want the experience of the Apple Store or don't want the experience of the AT&T store. To each their own, but i'm not a fan of lines, so paying now and waiting for a call is the best option for me. Are we in the minority here?
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post #25 of 45
Guy's I've got an AT&T iPhone 3G White 16GB from eBay US, I'm in the UK. It's pre-activated, and has an AT&T sim, which obviously the original owner didn't have roaming on it.

I've used Pwnage 2.0 on it, everything works well. My MobileMe push is not "pushing", but MobileMe mail has been f*ed for several days now, as we know. Other push stuff seems to be pushing.

Bear with me. This story is going somewhere. So basically I have an iPhone 3G now which is all good and sexy and I don't have to worry about any contract stuff.

My dilemma is this. Do I wait a few weeks for the iPhone 3G unlock (if it happens) or do I put this back on eBay.

Since the best use of this phone is in the USA with an AT&T prepaid GoPhone sim, which should work fine in it, since it was originally an AT&T-activated iPhone 3G.

As you know eBay is going off the charts with this iPhone 3G business, but I obviously don't want to promise "unlocked" and all that nonsense.

You probably don't want to know the insane (but not unbelievable) amount I paid for this white iPhone 3G in the first place. I just wanted to play with it and see if the unlocked 3G software would come out...

1. I'm considering freeing up the cash invested in this iPhone 3G, considering it, since I may be travelling soon. Doesn't matter if I sell it back on eBay at a loss.

2. I feel like I'm hoarding something that others may enjoy. A slight, niggling guilty feeling.

3. However. The worldwide iPhone 3G launch that is supposed to go on for another what, 50 countries... looks like the iPhone 3G will be a rare thing for a while now.

What is your opinion? Ethically? Otherwise? Appreciate your feedback.
post #26 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

My dilemma is this. Do I wait a few weeks for the iPhone 3G unlock (if it happens) or do I put this back on eBay.

I'd wait for the unlock. It should be coming soon.
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post #27 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

That can be taken a few ways. Is the status symbol more important than the device that despite the v2.0 software issues* people are still willing to get rid of their other phones or are other phones so poorly designed that even with the v2.0 issues the iPhone is still the best option available.

* Most people are probably not aware of any software issues with the new iPhone, but they aware of how they feel about their current phone.

After having a white iPhone 3G 16GB around for a week or so now, I would say it is both *the* status and *the* experience. And I haven't even used the phone or GPS part (no unlock yet) yet!
post #28 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I'd wait for the unlock. It should be coming soon.

Ah interesting thanks. ...Guess its time to steel-ify my b*lls and wait this thing out. I hope I can make it. ARGH. Perhaps my target is by the end of August to still be able to re-sell if needed at USD 500. Again, I'm not in for the quick buck, it's more an early-adopter cash flow etc. thing... which may take too long to explain here...

The latest news is that somebody (TA_Mobile) has done a complete dump of the baseband which is now provided to Dev Team, Geohot, etc. Geohot is now saying "it's going to be difficult", but Dev Team is silent on the matter.

There is new stuff, and new baseband security stuff they have to go through, and Geohot is painting a grim picture now.

My gut instinct is Dev Team has a few tricks up their sleeves, now that Jailbreak and Activation is done, it's all about slamming the baseband now. Their Pwnage 2.0 is pretty darn rock-solid, it's probably the best tool out there for both iPhone 2G and 3G. I'd like to take their current silence on the matter as something big is brewing.

The US eBay is seeing 16GB's go for between US$800 to over $1,000. eBay UK is yeah, £400 upwards to reaching over £500... about the equivalent in USD.

The iPhone 3G is such an amazing product, and after being involved with selling and helping people with Macs and iTunes, I'd so love to progress to being involved in this iPhone 3G thing. But it is a big monster now. Retail is tough enough, this iPhone 3G thing has thrown all plans out the window. Apple Retail itself is struggling, and that says a lot. My plans to be involved in iPhone 3G UK retail side of things has hit several roadblocks.

The silly thing is that its not just stock issues, but all the bollocks associated with all the activation this, and contract that. The moment a proper software 3G unlock comes out, the iPhone landscape is going to instantly transform. It'll be back to the old days of get the unit, unlock, done. Global trade of all iPhones. Certainly more beyond Apple's control. Warranty issues will be even more of a nightmare. This iPhone 3G thing, it has and will spawn another whole economy. Trading, unlocking, developing (Apps Store and Jailbroken), software updating, hardware servicing, de-bricking...

Appreciate you all (whoever ) letting me rant on as usual on AI... helps clear my mind sometimes when a lot of sh*t is going on...
post #29 of 45
If you want a fully-unlocked, legal and, it has to be said, quite pricey solution to the iPhone 3G, come to Belgium. We have a law here against locking phones in order to tie them to a single provider. As a result, Apple has done a deal with Mobistar (one of the three main providers in Belgium) to sell unlocked iPhones in their stores. There is an official iPhone contract starting at 30 Euros a month but you are in no way obliged to take it. What's more taking it will not reduce the price of the phone if you do take it.

Currently the 8GB goes for 525 Euros (821 USD) and the 16GB goes for 615 Euros (962 USD).

Pricey, eh! However, you are then free to switch from one SIM card to the next without having to worry about jailbreaking or a 12 or 24 month contract for which you end up shelling out a fortune but in installments instead of one lump sum.
post #30 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by daniel84 View Post

If you want a fully-unlocked, legal and, it has to be said, quite pricey solution to the iPhone 3G, come to Belgium. We have a law here against locking phones in order to tie them to a single provider. As a result, Apple has done a deal with Mobistar (one of the three main providers in Belgium) to sell unlocked iPhones in their stores. There is an official iPhone contract starting at 30 Euros a month but you are in no way obliged to take it. What's more taking it will not reduce the price of the phone if you do take it.

Currently the 8GB goes for 525 Euros (821 USD) and the 16GB goes for 615 Euros (962 USD).

Pricey, eh! However, you are then free to switch from one SIM card to the next without having to worry about jailbreaking or a 12 or 24 month contract for which you end up shelling out a fortune but in installments instead of one lump sum.

Daniel, thank you very much. I will reply here shortly and PM you if needed. Hope that is alright. I've been investigating the Italy situation.

First question for Belgium. Is there massive out-of-stock issues?

The website says (Google translated from Dutch)

"Unfortunately, our stock is exhausted. Click here to be notified when he is back in stock. To know more about the prices, click here. Mobistar has also elaborated rate to make best use of your iPhone3G, whether you're an individual or manager. So, let yourself be seduced!"
post #31 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by onceuponamac View Post

Ordered a black 16G and a white 16G from ATT - the white came in 24 hours (not waiting in line) - no word on the black - but ATT said 10 - 20 days - although people have been receiving more quickly than that.

I ordered a black 16GB on 7/14 from AT&T store and still hasn't shipped yet.

Apple should take names and give a ticket to come back at a certain time to get the phone rather than making people wait in line for hours on end. Or they could take your cell phone number and call you when it is your turn. At least then you could walk around the neighborhood or mall and go to the bathroom and eat something. I went to my local apple store the day before yesterday at 9:45am. They opened at 10am, and the line was already almost 200 people long. 20 customers per hour puts that line at 10 hours! Of course maybe not everyone was by themselves, but most were.
post #32 of 45
Daniel and others who know Belgium,

it says here that the Belgium iPhone 3G is simlocked to a "Belgian sim card"
(see the updates to)
http://antwerp.wordpress.com/2008/07...sim-lock-free/

So you can use any Belgian sim card but what about say a UK sim card in a Belgian iPhone 3G? Anyone? Help is much appreciated.
post #33 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I ordered from AT&T that, too. I figure that some people don't have the forethought to see what options they have before going to an Apple Store. There are reports of people standing in line for hours not realizing they have to sign a contract with AT&T. I figures others just want the experience of the Apple Store or don't want the experience of the AT&T store. To each their own, but i'm not a fan of lines, so paying now and waiting for a call is the best option for me. Are we in the minority here?

Come to think of it, I'm not sure if I knew an order could be placed until I was asked if I wanted to place it.

I saw the line at the Apple store, and decided to go to AT&T because I wasn't sure I had coverage at my address because of the odd error the AT&T site gives me when I put in my ZIP code. Once they confirmed that they do serve my address, they asked if I wanted to place an order.
post #34 of 45
I was delayed because of the "corporate account" issue, but it was an ATT screwup. My account is NOT a corporate account and never has been, but ATT had something flagged on my account that made it look to Apple as if it was. At least that is the way that ATT explained it. The apple rep (Bobby in 14th Street story NYC) was fantastic trying to help me - - he was amazingly patient and kept ME calm after my 4 hour wait), ATT told both of us it was their screwup etc. and one ATT rep told me it was a common issue, but I was still not permitted to purchase the phone because it would take ATT "4 to 72 hours" to enter the correction. Luckily for all involved, they fixed it within a few hours and I was able to get my phone that night. Apple was fine through all this, but ATT was a bunch of rude, incompetent slobs (well, except for one great rep in Manhattan Kansas). I really hope they open this up to other US carriers at some point because Apple and ATT are a total mismatch, and I would leave ATT in a second.

PS 3G is ok, but reception in Manhattan NYC is really spotty and goes in and out while I sit in he same spot so ... not sure its all worth the hassle except I like a few of the apps.
post #35 of 45
I'm pretty amazed at the lines even after almost weeks of availabilty. I figured anyone who wants an iPhone bad enough to stand in line for several hours would have had an original model. And if you have an original model, the only major improvements not available to you are GPS and 3G. With the original, WiFi triangulation offers somewhat of a workaround to GPS. So it really comes down to 3G. So you're going to wait in line five hours and spend $200-300 (plus upgrade fee and higher monthly charges) so web pages can load a few seconds quicker. Yeah that makes sense...

My guess - with iPhones selling on eBay (usually to the international market) for up to $1000 and sometimes more, many of those waiting on line are planning to cancel their contract, unlock it, and sell it to the super rich in China, Russia, and other countries not in line to get iPhones soon.

AT&T should have set a higher termination fee ($500) for the first three months for iPhones. That would have greatly discouraged resellers.

I'm looking forward to owning an iPhone but I just can't jusitfy standing in line for more that an hour or so. I know countless others feel the same way.
post #36 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by stonefree View Post

AT&T should have set a higher termination fee ($500) for the first three months for iPhones. That would have greatly discouraged resellers.

Not allowed by law.
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #37 of 45
There's a whole lot of interest over at the AT&T forums. As of now, there are 7144 posts in a thread about AT&T Direct Fulfillment. Most of them either don't want to wait in line at an Apple Store, don't have an Apple Store handy, or have FAN discounts that Apple can't process. I'm in the third category. I ordered a 16GB black on 7/14 and it's still back ordered.
post #38 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by stonefree View Post

With the original, WiFi triangulation offers somewhat of a workaround to GPS.

I've not heard of it using WiFi for triangulation.

Quote:
AT&T should have set a higher termination fee ($500) for the first three months for iPhones. That would have greatly discouraged resellers.

And you don't think that's a bit over the top?

Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Not allowed by law.

I haven't heard of this.
post #39 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I haven't heard of this.

Oops, looks like I jumped the gun, but the FCC has proposed it to Congress so it shouldn't be long before there is a ceiling.
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/24/technology/24fcc.html
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #40 of 45
I spent four frigging hours today buying a phone for my wife. That is one thing I won't ever do again!

It felt like Apple kept us outside longer just for marketing value.

If you want to buy one, check online the night before, and get to the store an hour before it opens. They give out "tickets" to everybody in line comensurate to the stock levels. You have until 6pm to pick up your phone, so you can leave and come back. If people don't pick up their phone, it isn't sold to someone else. They are artificially inflating the demands and creating lines.

As a customer, I'm pissed off with the situation. It is a bullshit marketing move.

The whole process is a complete joke. It took five minutes for the clerk to go to the back and get my phone. Five minutes! All of the hang-ups are easily avoided... if that is what they wanted to do. The in-store activation is just stupid-- it goes against everything they innovated last year. The server problems... like they didn't know better?!

Subsidized phones are such a rip-off. Shame Apple didn't pull off a bigger win with the first generation.
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