Pitching a tent for Apple iPhone

“Apple CEO Steve Jobs recently gave free advice to a columnist asking how to get an iPhone when they go on sale: head to an AT&T store, Jobs suggested, rather than Apple’s own retail outlets,” Anne Broache reports for CNET News.

“A CNET News.com survey of 75 Apple and AT&T stores indicates that may be a wise approach,” Broache reports. “Not one Apple store contacted offered would-be iPhone buyers the chance to get on a waiting list, but some AT&T stores and retailers did. The catch: not all stores that sell AT&T phones expect to be selling the iPhone on June 29, and some that will expressed concern about receiving sufficient quantities of the highly anticipated device.”

AT&T company-owned vs. AT&T franchises/resellers
“One open question is whether AT&T/Cingular franchises and resellers will ever be selling the iPhone,” Broache reports. “AT&T spokesman John Kampfe initially denied on Tuesday that any franchises or resellers would receive iPhones. ‘The iPhone will be available in all AT&T-owned retail stores nationwide, which number about 1,800. Again it will be sold only in AT&T-owned retail stores, Apple retail stores and through Apple’s online store,’ Kampfe said in an e-mail interview.”

Broache reports, “But in the News.com survey, some franchises have said the opposite: that they expect to supply customers with iPhones starting June 29. Others, however, have said they’re not getting the product at all; some say they’re unsure whether they’ll stock them; and some said that if they did, the phones would likely not arrive until at least July… In a follow-up conversation, AT&T’s Kampfe indicated that franchises might be able to start selling phones after June 29. ‘We haven’t disclosed what we’re doing beyond the 29th,’ he said. ‘That’s not to say we are going to make them available, but as of the 29th, it is only going to be in AT&T-owned stores, Apple stores, and Apple online.'”

Broache reports, “An Omaha, Neb., Apple store employee said he fully expected to see people camping outside before the launch, while a Portland, Ore. employee actually advised doing so: ‘I recommend pitching a tent,’ he said, perhaps only half kidding.”

Full article, with more info from other stores and tips for landing an iPhone, here.

Broache also has a related CNET News blog post, “Tips for landing an iPhone,” here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Aki” for the heads up.]


  1. I live in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago. I have called about 15 AT&T stores in my area. The AT&T owned stores all said they didn’t even know if they would have them on the actual launch day, and the franchises said they didn’t know if they’d get them at all. I only found one store that was compiling a waiting list, and that was a franchise that wasn’t going to have them until the second batch is release (and who knows when that’ll be).

    The Apple store closest to me is in a mall. I went there today to scope out the closest entry and to briefly talk to an Apple rep. I asked him about the 6 p.m. release time that Steve Jobs mentioned in his keynote, and he seemed confused about it. He said he’d heard that mentioned as the ship time, but that it couldn’t be when it was shipping and that they weren’t being told anything just yet so he wasn’t sure how that was going to play out.

    It’s kind of frustrating because I’m practically begging Apple to let me give them $600 and begging AT&T to let me sign a 2 year death contract and fork over a load of money to them, too. I can’t seem to get any info over the exact time, what stores will have them, or how many there will be. I don’t mind camping out, I guess, but I just want to know how long I’ll be doing that!

  2. I love Apple and I am excited about the iPhone but anyone as worried about the “launch” as you are should really take a chill. You will get one.. trust me.

    MW: “does” as in Zorin “does” deserve to buy an iPhone if he will just calm down. Now isn’t that better?”

  3. @ Zorrin

    Thank me for this tip later!

    Drink some Camels milk the day before the launch, turn up to queue or Q as some of you less competent spellers would have me write it:-) (Spelling bee Champion of the Cuckoo’s nest 2007, I am!)

    You will produce some of the most thunderous, evil, foul smelling farts that will guarantee everyone will flee the queue and the Apple staff will want to get rid of you quick by selling you your iphone in less than double quick time!.

  4. Great, now we blame Apple – they make their products so good and demand for them so high that the whole thing is just Apple’s ploy to cause chaos for poor unassuming customers like Zorrin.

    Why not just go into an Apple store on the 30th?

  5. From the way he said it, I thought Steve was joking when he said “6pm” (= latest possible time), rather as he was in that interview with Mossberg when they joked about the last possible date in June. If it was a throwaway quip, his marketing people won’t be too happy.

  6. Waiting lists are a recipe for confusion and disaster. If you really want one, don’t get on a list; be one of the first to show up to a store that is known to be getting a supply and has refused to compile a list. For real fans, the best place will be an Apple Store.

  7. How about just waiting for a little while after the official June 29 release day? Say…a few weeks?

    There still will be iPhones for sale, and you probably won’t have to “pitch a tent” or wait in any line to get one. I’m probably just stating the obvious here…

  8. So imagine camping outside your local ATT store for a day, being 10th in physical line for the iPhone, when you enter the store only to find out that, sorry, the first nine were the only ones not reserved by those on the waiting list. Cya! or, having the hopes of attaining an iPhone on your way home from work, knowing that you were only second on the waiting list you were put on by the friendly employee a few weeks ago, only to come in and find out, sorry, first-come-first-served!

    So how can we expect to get decent customer service when they have potentially given us the worst possible reflection on them right from the get-go?

    I am expecting to hear about class-action lawsuits from both sides v ATT on CNN by Saturday evening, and will be reading about the outcome on MDN, from my very own iPhone, I hope. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  9. If you think waiting for a iPhone will be bad, just wait until you get hooked up with Cingular/AT&T! I prdeict after the initial disaster of lack of available inventory is solved the real complaints will be about Cingular/AT&T’s crappy service. First, they are notorious for having horrendous customer service. Second, the network now is slow. I don’t even have the web enabled on my phone out of frustraion with it’s speed.

    Then add to that a gazillion or so new customers all in a short period of time and you could be looking at a network meltdown unless AT&T has been really beefing up.

    And then, when no one can make calls or surf the web on the painfully slow and soon to get slower, Edge service, everyone will of course, blame Apple.

    This should be fun to watch. I can wait for the 2nd gen iPhone and let all you early adopters do that suffering for the rest of us.

  10. Yeah, I would wait a couple of months before jumping onto the iPhone. It just seems like there could be a million problems with the thing, especially the keyboard. I don’t know about you, but I was worried when the head of the iPhone development screwed up when typing on that during the WWDC keynote. In addition, there is something weird about how they show only the NY Times website when demonstrating the Internet.
    I am still going to take the plunge, just not at the end of June, maybe mid July.

  11. @ AP

    Yeah, I’ve thought about those things, too. I think the thing that gave me the confidence to buy is the fact that Apple can so easily update the firmware and other software through iTunes. It’s a pain with almost every other phone (I’ve had a Blackberry and a Motorola Q), but I really think that if something sucks they’ll fix it.

    Or maybe I’m just overly trusting of Apple.

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