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

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 77
    nondualnondual Posts: 78member
    Well, I'm number one at my Best Buy, so...assuming they get SOMETHING in Black 32G - I should be covered.



    Right?
  • Reply 2 of 77
    zenwaveszenwaves Posts: 81member
    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 ...
  • Reply 3 of 77
    djrumpydjrumpy Posts: 1,116member
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 77
    kasperkasper Posts: 941member, administrator
    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.
  • Reply 5 of 77
    chronsterchronster Posts: 1,894member
    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!
  • Reply 6 of 77
    idleidle Posts: 49member
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 77
    rot'napplerot'napple Posts: 1,839member
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 77
    radster360radster360 Posts: 540member
    I was just able to pre-order through Apple Store!
  • Reply 9 of 77
    jerseymacjerseymac Posts: 408member
    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.



  • Reply 10 of 77
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 77
    mbmcavoymbmcavoy Posts: 157member
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 77
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,125member
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 77
    cxc273cxc273 Posts: 46member
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 77
    weshsuweshsu Posts: 5member
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 77
    isaidsoisaidso Posts: 750member
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 77
    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
  • Reply 17 of 77
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,135member
    Looks like white is the new black.
  • Reply 18 of 77
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 19,164member
    How come Best Buy takes preorders for White when even Apple does not?



    Did someone not read the memo?
  • Reply 19 of 77
    ghostface147ghostface147 Posts: 1,629member
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 77
    zenwaveszenwaves Posts: 81member
    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.
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