Verizon sells out iPhone pre-order inventory

Apple, Verizon halt early sales, tell customers to wait until Feb. 9 to order online

Apple and Verizon late Thursday halted pre-orders of the iPhone, indicating that the companies have exhausted the inventories they had set aside for existing customers of the carrier.

The two companies began taking pre-orders at 3 a.m. ET, midnight PT, but shut down sales about 15 hours later.

At approximately 7:30 p.m. ET, Verizon customers reported that pre-orders had been stopped.

Later, Apple's online store showed "Currently Unavailable" for the Verizon iPhone 4. Meanwhile, Verizon's pre-order page changed to display a message reading, "We are no longer taking pre-sale orders."

Earlier in the day, a Verizon spokeswoman declined to say how many iPhones had been reserved for pre-orders, but said that when supplies were exhausted, consumers would see a message to that effect on the company's Web site.

Customers, both current Verizon subscribers as well as the general public, must now wait until Wednesday, Feb. 9 to order an iPhone 4. Both Apple and Verizon will re-open online ordering that day at 3 a.m. ET.

Retail sales kick off Thursday, Feb. 10 at Apple, Verizon and Best Buy stores. Apple and Verizon will open their stores' doors at 7 a.m. local time to accommodate walk-in customers and those who ordered the day before and selected in-store pickup.

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His e-mail address is gkeizer@computerworld.com.

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