Manhattan, NY – AT&T Resumes Online Sales of iPhones in NYC

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    New York, NY – The technosphere is all a-twitter today with news that AT&T has stopped selling iPhones in the New York City area.

    Wait. What? Yes, you read that correctly, according to Wired.com and various other tech sites, AT&T halted sales of the iPhone on its website for reasons as yet completely unclear.

    Consumerist blog was first to report the service outage, when a reader wrote them saying that while shopping for a new mobile device he noticed that his Brooklyn zip code didn’t work for finding an iPhone on wireless.att.com.

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    A call to the telecom’s support and Consumerist’s Laura Northrup got this response from an AT&T:

    “Yes, this is correct the phone is not offered to you because New York is not ready for the iPhone… You don’t have enough towers to handle the phone.”

    “Yes, this is correct the phone is not offered to you because New York is not ready for the iPhone… You don’t have enough towers to handle the phone.”

    Later, however, an AT&T spokesman told Consumerist: “We periodically modify our promotions and distribution channels.” Whatever that means.

    Wired reports that other people have been told that the iPhone drought is because of fraud issues. The online mag also points out that AT&T has had problems in the past keeping up with the massive data overload that iPhone users put on their network.

    AT&T spokeswoman Alexa Kaufman gave NBCNewYork.com the same story Consumerist got, and pointed out that shoppers can still buy the phones in traditional stores.

    “The iPhone is available in our New York retail stores and those of our partners,” said Kaufman. “As for online sales, we periodically modify our promotions and distribution channels.”

    **Update** from the AP 6:30 PM
    AT&T is resuming online sales of iPhones to New Yorkers after suspending them over the weekend for unclear reasons.

    A spokesman said only that the phone company periodically “modifies” its distribution channels.

    On AT&T Inc.’s Web site, buyers who supply New York City ZIP codes were told on Monday morning to “Please shop for another phone.”

    AT&T has acknowledged that its data network is overburdened with iPhone users in New York and San Francisco, sparking online speculation that the sales suspension is a means of managing traffic.

    However, because the phones are still available in New York retail stores and from Apple Inc.’s Web site, the ban could instead be a way to curb fraudsters who buy phones and sell them on, reneging on the service contracts.


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