updated 09:55 am EDT, Thu June 21, 2007
iPhone retail launch info
AT&T is expecting its retail stores to sell out of iPhones in 24-48 hours, but says it will take mail orders for delivery within 3-5 days of the launch date, according to a new report. AT&T also said it would limit iPhone sales to customers to prevent hoarding, but did not provide any other specific details. The USA Today reports that all 1,800 AT&T outlets will be carrying the device, noting that the world's largest carrier has hired an additional 2,000 employees for the launch at its retail stores -- most of which are expected to close for 90 minutes prior to the official launch time of 6 pm. The company, however, expects to extend retail store hours at most locations until 10 p.m. to accommodate the expected influx of customers. [updated]
The Senior VP of Sales at AT&T, Larry Carter said that shipments are being focused on cities with large numbers of iPod users, who are more likely to be interested in what the iPhone offers. "It's just common sense," he says, that outlets in New York City will receive more stock than Richmond. If a store does run out of iPhones, mail orders should be fulfilled within three to five days as inventory permits. Customers looking to profit on resales; however, may be disappointed, as the report indicates that AT&T is placing an as-yet undisclosed limit on how many products a person can buy.
Behind the scenes, AT&T reportedly has been preparing new service plans for the iPhone -- expected to be revealed on the same day. The plans will likely include unlimited Web browsing.
The report also indicated that AT&T has spent $50 million in expanding its data network though, and has been conducting extensive field testing, making sure that unique features such as visual voicemail work properly in reality. A total of $7 billion has already been spent in 2007 to improve AT&T service overall.