Regarding the iPhone in NYC -- AT&T "Periodically Modifies Promotions and Distribution Channels".

iPhone Out of Stock

So the internets are exploding thanks to a Consumerist article that involved not being able to order an iPhone in New York City via AT&T's website.

AT&T has apparently found a workable solution to the reported data congestion in New York City. They've quietly stopped selling the iPhone to customers in the New York metropolitan area, at least from their web site.

TechCrunch doesn't seem to be having too much trouble finding them and simply suggests AT&T's online system pulls from a different warehouse and seems to be out of stock in the area:

So if you really want to buy an iPhone in New York City, go to an AT&T store, or an Apple Store. Or try Apple’s website. That seems to be taking orders for New York City residents just fine ( I got up to the checkout).

TiPb contacted AT&T PR and got the following, which we're grateful for given the holidays, the weekend, and the late hour, though it is a tad on the cryptic side:

"We periodically modify our promotions and distribution channels."

Hopefully the dust will settle and either the NYC iPhone ordering system will get replenished, or something more concrete will come from AT&T.

UPDATE: MediaMemo is saying AT&T has halted online purchases of new iPhones in order to prevent fraud. So, if you want a new iPhone in NYC, you have to walk into an AT&T or Apple store and get one. However they don't believe that makes a whole lot of sense either.

Update 2 from Dieter: I mentioned this story to the folks that run <a href="http://store.theiphoneblog.comiMore Store and they said that they have experienced 'waves' of fraud from the NYC area over the years, necessitating increased scrutiny on every order destined for the Big Apple. Refusing to sell anything to New Yorkers is an extreme and extremely bad solution, but it's not out of the realm of possibility that it's a solution to a real problem. So either AT&T is lying about their incompetence about running a network or telling the truth about their incompetence about running an online store.

Still feel free to sound off in the comments!

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

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

Regarding the iPhone in NYC -- AT&T "Periodically Modifies Promotions and Distribution Channels".


Not surprising. AT&T modifie their promotions all the time to adjust to the poluaroty and traffic flow. You wonder why the LG Neon is only $30?Because it's a POS and they need to get rid of it.

Um. AT&T blows. How's that for an explanation?I didn't get the 3GS specifically because I'm praying for a Verizon model.

I already read elsewhere its a fraud problem with ordering it from AT&Ts website. The phone is activated in store. When you order it online its not activated until the customer activates it.

Joseph W.: Welcome to AT&T online Sales support. How may I assist you with placing your order today?
Gregg: Im trying to order an iPhone online
Joseph W.: Which one, the 3gs?
Gregg: Yes
Gregg: It says "There are no phones and devices that match your search criteria."
Joseph W.: It is because your ordering zipcode is in New York City.
Gregg: What does that mean?
Joseph W.: Due to massive fraud in online ordering, iPhones are not available online only.
Joseph W.: They can be bought in stores only.
Gregg: Ok, thank you.

Me for one hopes iPhone stays exclusive on ATT. Everyone thinks the iPhone will be better on verizon. I highly doubt it. This upcoming year ATT better dump some money in NYC and San franscico though and straigten out their network issues. Must be hard in NYC though with all those phones in one concentred area

Trust me, it is. I love and work in the heart on NYC. It's ridiculous. 1 out of every 2 calls drop within a minute and a half. The only thing good is the 3G data speeds. That's it. I've actually started texting and emailing And IMing people as an alternative to calling them. It's more reliable.

@at.t. If this were true verizon would adjust all the time. Every non-smartphone they have is a pos.
@James Keep praying. Your prayers will not be answered by the apple gods. They told verizon to f off till 2011-2012.

Also I feel real bad for the people of NYC. Cause I am upstate and have the best AT&T has to offer. No dropped calls, 3g all the time. And verizon sucks corn chowder soaked donkey balls up here. And sprint is no better. Had them both. And AT&T bombs them. Atleast in my area.

No pity.
NYC users, like all other users, had 30 days to try out their iPhones and return them or exchange them for something else, if unsatisfactory.
Whoever didn't, and instead is complaining...

The Consumerist is really only good for their Morning Deals thingie -- I've gotten some great bargains because of it.
Most anything else they do is just to fill blogspace and get eyeballs to their ads. They exploit first, fact-find later.
They excel and making mountains out of mole-hills ;)

No pity? Really? What if you really want an iPhone? I think the complaints are legit, especially with exclusivity in play.

also...what about all those folks with Family plans? They may not want to downgrade to a lesser phone or switch carriers altogether.

@ad hustler
they don't have the iPhone which is huge data hog. Plus I had verizon for two years. Their 3g is not "fast" but these map commercials are defintley effective for them cuz the average consumer doesn't realize it. But my ATT 3g here in Atlanta is great and would not want to go back to cmda. But I understand the gripes of people who are in the woods who don't get ATT 3g. But they would better off with edge on their iPhone cuz cmda does not give you voice and simeltanous data either.