After enduring an older model phone for far too long, I finally ordered a shiny new iPhone 4S from AT&T on 10/7, shortly after the new phone was announced by Apple. AT&T responded promptly, letting me know my order had been received and I was first in queue when the new phones were available.
And there my order sits, waiting. Still. For the past couple of weeks AT&T’s website lists my order as “processing” and says that status was last updated on 10/11. Meanwhile, over 4 million phones were sold in the first weekend it was available. But not to me. I don’t know if this is true, but I’ve read that AT&T is using its inventory to satisfy new customers, and existing customers who are replacing older phones will just have to wait until AT&T has signed up as many new customers as possible.
Thankfully, I learned a trick from a fellow at one of the Apple Stores. Each night, from 9 pm to midnight, a customer can log into Apple’s website and attempt to place an order for a phone. Supplies are limited, so they might all be gone by 10:00 pm, so try pretty close to 9. If you get a reservation, your phone can be picked up at your local Apple Store the very next day. Which very much doesn’t suck.
So yeah, I’ve got a reservation and should pick up my new phone today. At which point I’ll cancel my order with AT&T. I can only hope buying the phone straight from Apple screws AT&T out of some money somehow.
And by the way, here’s that link on Apple’s website, if you want to try the same. http://www.apple.com/iphone/how-to-buy/
I’m still using a Virgin Mobile phone that doesn’t even have a texting keypad so maybe this is obvious to everyone else, but is there some advantage to buying an iPhone from AT&T (I mean other than the obvious one of getting to wait a month to get it)? If you buy from AT&T do you get some kind of deal on the contract? Or is Apple’s buying process (“A whole 3 hours a day in which to try to buy a phone!”) just as onerous?
No, there’s no benefit from buying the phone straight from AT&T. I’m a pre-existing AT&T customer, and they do give me a big discount on the phone because I’m renewing a two-year phone contract. But all of that is true even when I buy the phone directly from Apple. The handy folks at the Apple Store tied the new phone to my AT&T account and gave me the discounted price and everything.
But yeah, the delay is crazy. Seems like they could have forecasted the initial demand a little better, huh?