Advice: Avoid AT&T, O2 Stores for iPhone 3G [updated x2] | iLounge News

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Advice: Avoid AT&T, O2 Stores for iPhone 3G [updated x2]

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iLounge’s editors have been attending iPhone 3G launch events today in three U.S. states, as well as in Canada. After hours of waiting in lines that were clearly past AT&T’s capacity to satisfy today with product, we offer our readers the following advice: do not wait in line AT&T stores, unless you are prepared to suffer major disappointment. Updated: Our UK editor notes similar issues at O2 in the United Kingdom; see this article’s comments for details there.

As was the case with last year’s launch of the iPhone, AT&T stores have today allowed lines to form well in excess of their actual capacity to presently supply iPhone 3G hardware. At one store we visited this morning, the AT&T store ran entirely out of 16GB iPhones after only 12 customers had made purchases. Another AT&T store ran out of black 16GB units after roughly 10 people had left the store, and customers began to leave the line after extended waits without a guarantee of sufficient inventory.

Though the lines to purchase the iPhone 3G appear to be both shorter and less energetic than last year’s iPhone queues, AT&T’s stores appear unable to satisfy the demand, yet are keeping people in line until they can offer to order units that may be in stock by next week. Lines at Apple Stores are somewhat longer, though it is unclear as to how much inventory they have. We will be updating this story throughout the day.

Canada: Rogers’ flagship store in Toronto had a line of roughly 80 people by 5:00AM; by 9:00AM, an hour after the store opened with groups of 10, they had processed 20 people. The store had a total of 90-100 units, with roughly 20% as 16GB models. A smaller Rogers location, received a total of 6 iPhone 3G units, with one black 16GB, one white 16GB, and four black 8GB models. The Apple Stores in Canada are not selling the iPhone 3G, making Rogers locations the only places to purchase units.

« iLounge posts iPhone 3G unpacking, comparison photos [updated]

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Comments

1

I was 1st in line in a small town in PA. I got the 16GB white one I wanted. There were about 15 folks in line.

Posted by David on July 11, 2008 at 6:15 AM (PDT)

2

HUH, is anybody really surprised at this?  I’m convinced that ATT is run by morons.

Posted by Mango2kw on July 11, 2008 at 6:31 AM (PDT)

3

I will vouch for this. The store in west Conway, AR had approximately 40+ phones at launch last year; this year, I was around 20th in line and I chose to leave instead of doing the direct fulfillment order when I was informed that it appeared that only the first 15 or so would get a phone at all, and possibly not the model they desired.

Posted by Flippy Hambone on July 11, 2008 at 6:39 AM (PDT)

4

The new AT&T Store in the Hamilton Town Center here in Noblesville, IN ran out of black 16gb iPhones after 6 people!  Luckily, I was number 2 in line, but I felt bad for the 70+ people still in line.

Posted by Adam on July 11, 2008 at 6:47 AM (PDT)

5

While not getting up at dawn to line up at my local O2 store I did venture into Cambridge just to see what all the fuss is about.

At about 11.15am there were roughly a dozen people lined up outside the store - O2 staff were restricting the numbers entering. One of the staff approached me to ask if I was buying and when I replied I was looking at the 16GB in black she replied they only had one left and a guy further along the line had been allocated that. Seems they have sold out after only 80 or so units.

Along to the Apple Store (in same mall) and I was informed that they were not selling due to their system being down. They had plenty of stock (both black & white versions) but were forced to taking interested customers details to contact them when the system was back up.

On the way back to the car I stopped in a Carphone Warehouse store and overheard a customer asking a busy sales assistant if they had any left - they did but the registration/credit check seemed to be bogging the store down.

Posted by Bob Levens in UK on July 11, 2008 at 6:47 AM (PDT)

6

after spending the night outside my 02 store in Plymouth UK, wanting to make sure i could get my upgrade, finally after 11 hours of waiting the doors opened at 8:02, i was 1st in line, only to get told half way though the order that there systems were down, and it could not compleat, this was only happening to upgrades!! they said they would hold onto the Iphone, which i had in my hand, until the system is back up again. it is now gone 3pm and it is still down, i have rung and complained, only to be told it might not be up until tomorrow now!!!!! they aid sorry, they went prepared for the amount of interest!!!! what!!! 02 sort it out!!!!!

Posted by Rob in plymouth on July 11, 2008 at 7:12 AM (PDT)

7

For what it’s worth, when I try to complete the upgrade of my touch through iTunes, it says the store is down there too…  OOPS.

Posted by David In Dayton on July 11, 2008 at 7:30 AM (PDT)

8

Wow, down in fl, the AT&T store had 120, 60 16GB, 60 8GB, (30 W, 30 B for 16GB.)

Posted by Ian on July 11, 2008 at 8:42 AM (PDT)

9

My AT&T store in Pensacola, Florida, ran out of black 16GB phones after half-a-dozen customers, and out of all iPhone stock entirely after about 30 customers. Phone calls to the other three AT&T stores in the city told essentially the same story. Each of these stores could have sold several times the paltry stock they had on hand. The nearest Apple store is over three hours away, so AT&T was the only game in town, literally.

Whoever committed estimation errors of that magnitude should not be permitted a chance to repeat them. It’s criminally stupid.

Posted by vyh7fz3lf9azkl2e on July 11, 2008 at 10:11 AM (PDT)

10

I waited at a AT&T Store for 3 hours this morning and was the 21st person inline (out of about 75-100 people) only then to find out they sold out!!!  The store only had 20 3g iphones!!!  I’m upset because they made everyone wait just to tell us that they had already sold all of them.  They should have let everyone know upfront that they had only 20 phones.  I called a apple store and they told me that I would have had the phone this morning if I went to their location.  They still have phones available and inform the customers upfront (once they get in line) if they will walk out with a new 3g or not.  I will never deal with a AT&T store again!!!  I feel apple stores should have been the only ones selling the phone.  Not to mention that this AT&T store was NOT activating the phones so when the customers got home to activate their phones they couldn’t because itunes is currently down.  Another reason never to go through the AT&T stores!!!

Posted by Jake on July 11, 2008 at 12:12 PM (PDT)

11

I waited in line at the AT&T store in Kapolei, Hawaii. I went there at about 4:40am and was 21st in line. The first person in line had been there since 9pm the Thursday/yesterday.

The store manager came out soon after the store opened and told the people in line that after the 25th person in line there would be no 16GB Black left.

The rumor had been that the store had a total of 60 units. By the time the store opened at 8am, there were at least 65-70 people in line.

Posted by RyanK808 on July 11, 2008 at 12:55 PM (PDT)

12

The manner in which everything (3g launch and $9.99 2.0 upgrade) is being handled is quite disappointing. This would most likely be unacceptable for the original iPhone launch- being less than 13 months after that makes this nothing less than a nightmare. Who’s running this show, a bunch of monkeys?

Posted by Jordan on July 11, 2008 at 1:53 PM (PDT)

13

I had the same problem in Bristol waited in line for 4 hours, being the 5th person in the queue and there was no 16GB. The store only had 3 of them!!

Very disappointed with this, the whole process has been a real mess.

Posted by Rich on July 11, 2008 at 2:20 PM (PDT)

14

Why didn’t they just take preorders to begin with?  I waited 3.75 hours to order one since they ran out in my area also.  Our store in Colo Spgs had only 50 and about 120 or more waiting by 0700.

Posted by John on July 11, 2008 at 3:09 PM (PDT)

15

Wow I’m sorry to hear so many people have had so many problems with the supply.  I went to one of two nearby AT&T store at 6:45 am on release day.  When I got there I think about 100 people were already in line.  After a while AT&T staff came out and offered bottled water and also starting counting waiters.  One lady from AT&T seemed to be in control of counting and then asking people which iPhone they wanted to help ensure that the person would get what they wanted.  The guy in front of me did get the last black 16 gig, so I got a white.  In store activation didn’t happen due to system issues but they told you right away and said to finish at home.  After I got in I got my phone and was out the door by 9:30 am.

Posted by LaShona on July 12, 2008 at 4:41 PM (PDT)

16

I went to an ATT store in Douglasville, GA about 20 miles west of Atlanta. They had 40 total units and periodically the manager would come out to announce the latest inventory. I was the 30th in line and received the last 16gb black and was quite pleased. The White model didn’t seem that popular.

I will give the manager credit. He made it clear to those in line past number 40 that there would be no models available and they were free to place a fulfillment order.

On Saturday I went to one of the local Apple stores to purchase another 16gb black for my wife. There had been over 400 people in line the previous day and similar numbers on Saturday, after about 4 hrs I got the second model. The Apple store had plenty in stock with no sign of exhausting its supply. I’ve heard similar stories about the other Atlanta area Apple stores.

I’m glad its over until the iPhone 4G comes out in 2 or 3 years

Posted by SCY on July 12, 2008 at 10:51 PM (PDT)

17

I waited in line for about two hours at a local AT&T store (Phila. PA) and there were about 40-45 people in front of me and they sold out when I was the sixth person in line. The word is that Apple only shipped 40 iphones to most AT&T stores. Now I think there are more iphones in Europe and Canada then in the USA.

Posted by Todd on July 14, 2008 at 7:54 PM (PDT)

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