Apple and AT&T in cahoots over fake iPhone shortage?

Just got an interesting tip from a reader. I wasn’t there and I don’t know what happened, but apparently one of the AT&T stores in my neck of the woods has some iPhones in stock but can’t sell them until tomorrow because of some cryptic agreement with Apple. They’re taking orders for the phones today, but won’t sell them. Weird.


I went to the AT&T store in Waltham, Mass at 9:45 (15 minutes before it was scheduled to open according to their site).  There were about 6-7 dudes in line outside and one told me that they were quote out of iPhones and only taking orders for delivery in 5-7 days.  Thinking that he was just being an asshole I decided to stay in line.  My decision to stay in line was confirmed to be correct as I watched a couple of customers trickle out with their new iPhones.

10 minutes later the line had grown to about 10 (including 2 women!) and then the manager came out, invited all of us in for the moment we had all been anticipating for months.  The store had obviously prepared itself for the crowds as it was fully staffed and a large cooler of complimentary (non-promotional) Dasani bottled water was  being emptied out and handed to me and the other excited shoppers.

Then, things took a turn for the worse!  Way worse… The manager got up in front of everybody and asked who was here for an iPhone.  He then went on to explain that the store was only able to take orders for iPhones that would be delivered to the store in the next 5-7 days.  They would take our money and when the iPhones came in we would get a call to come in and pick them up.  If they were not picked up in a week, they would be shipped back and the charges reversed.  He also said — and this was the kicker – that he had more iPhones in stock but he could not start selling them until Saturday morning due to his contract with Apple!  And those would be on a first come, first served basis.  In other words, Apple had manufactured a sell out of iPhones for the first day so as to generate “every store sold out of iPhones” hyproganda.

It’s one thing to actually sell out of your product.  It’s another thing to manufacture a sell out of your product.  In the age of YouTube, bloggers and accelerated word of mouth, companies must be punished for pulling this type of disingenuous shit.

I am pissed at Apple for taking me for granted!  I loved my iPhone and was willing to shell out several hundred dollars for a 3G on Day 1.  I feel used.  Like a chump who was turned away so Apple could get a nice sound byte on the news and the Blogs.  I am so angry that I am planning to vote with my wallet…  I am going to wait and buy the BlackBerry Bold which is coming out next month.  So long as BlackBerry doesn’t pull the same shit.

Best wishes,

Mark J. Feldman”

Thanks for sending this in, Mark. Keep us posted.