iPhone 3G in the US and UK: 2 Weeks Later

It's been two weeks since the July 11th, 22 nation launch. Do you know where your iPhone 3G is? Sadly, for many, the answer is still "backordered" if not "out-of-stock". But don't worry, your always customer conscious and perennially consumer focused mobile cell provider wants to make sure you know that they know that you're feeling some pain. And they want to assure you they're doing everything they can to get your money you your shiny new iPhone 3G.

First, they are absolutely, positively not hoarding them or stockpiling them in any secret iVaults. It's still first-come, first-served, and in AT&T is prioritizing direct fulfillment (with a 2 week wait time), and advising their stores are currently sold out. (Hey, they're moving it twice as fast as last year, remember? Just imagine if they had stock!)

Second, for its part Apple has stopped providing JSON data to independent webbers who were keeping you better informed (than Apple) as to what stores had precisely which units when you got there 15 exactly minutes too late. Back to Apple.com, or the still long line ups outside Apple Retail, for those in the US.

Third, in the UK 02 Online is out, stores are in increasingly short supply, but might get a few more units trickling in today.

Not worried in the least, Apple's supply-chain wizards plan to launch the iPhone 3G in 20 more countries in just under a month from now. Good luck with that.

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

iPhone 3G in the US and UK: 2 Weeks Later


Do you suppose it's possible Apple is holding back on domestic/UK supply in order to have enough units for the additional rollouts? That would not make me a happy camper (I'm still waiting for my local Apple Store to get stock that I, as a working stiff who can't wait in line for several hours during the day, can buy), but I can see a certain perverse logic that might appeal to folks in Cupertino.
I guess they're learning the downside of not being a niche market.

Direct fulfillment is slow but works. I'm picking up my iPhone after work today. They give you an e-mail alert when the order is taken and a link where you can check on the status.
I have three criticisms of the process. First, the direct fulfillment system only gives a handful of statuses and if you only order a single phone there are two of consequence - In Process or Shipped. There is a column that reports on if the units ordered are in back order which is nice but it frequently changes without changing the status form In Process and is frequently wrong. So you won't know that your order is being fulfilled until after the status changes to shipped. Finally, there is a lot of latency in status changes. My phone shipped at 9:30 AM yesterday but the status did not change until early afternoon. They do give a tracking number immediately after the status changes to shipped which may be the reason for the latency and once you have that link you can get notifications from FedEx via e-mail.
The system works. It's not perfect but AT&T is getting the job done. If you call them either at the store or on their toll-free line they are extremely nice. They don't always have the answers or better information but they are very nice and really make an effort to be helpful. Considering the circumstances (excessive demand) I think they're doing a good job, not perfect but good.

I guess it pays to live right next to AT&T's U.S. headquarters. All the AT&T stores near me are sold out indefinitely. All four Apple stores in my state however (GA) have iPhone 3Gs in stock.