Apple, AT&T sell out iPhone 4 pre-order supplies

Even with online ordering fiasco, iPhone 4 well runs dry in less than a day

Despite persistent problems Tuesday with iPhone 4 online ordering, U.S. customers exhausted the supplies Apple and AT&T set aside for delivery June 24.

Late Tuesday, Apple replaced the iPhone 4's June 24 delivery promise with "Ships: By July 2nd." The reduced-priced iPhone 3GS, an 8GB model that sells for $99, retained its June 24 ship date, however.

Even earlier in the day, reports surfaced that AT&T had run through its iPhone 4 supply and was telling customers that further pre-orders would not be received by customers until "June 25 or later."

Late Tuesday, AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel declined to comment on whether AT&T had sold out of the iPhone 4 units it had set aside for June 24 delivery.

Tuesday night, AT&T's Web site returned the message "Pre-orders for iPhone temporarily suspended" when attempts were made to reserve an iPhone 4.

According to a message posted to Radio Shack's official Twitter account, the retailer exhausted its iPhone 4 supply about 90 minutes after it began taking pre-order reservations at some of its stores.

The combination of ordering snafus -- both AT&T and Apple's online ordering processes collapsed at times on Tuesday -- and the run on iPhone 4 supplies left a bad taste in some customers' mouths.

"After literally hours spent trying to order the phone online today, I was never able to reserve one for delivery on June 24. Now at 10 p.m. I finally got through and managed to order one that won't be shipped until July 2," said someone identified as Woodwyn on an iPhone support forum thread at 10:22 p.m. Pacific Tuesday. "This is the most unacceptable experience I have ever had with Apple. I've put in the time and gotten absolutely nothing to show for it. Apple on the other hand has a ton of free press about how popular the iPhone is that all of their stores were swamped and their servers went down!"

The iPhone 4 sell-out came significantly sooner than last year's depletion of iPhone 3GS inventories. In 2009, AT&T didn't empty its pre-order shelves for five days, and Apple was still taking orders and promising at-launch delivery a week after the company unveiled the 3GS.

With prelaunch supplies spent, U.S. customers who want an iPhone 4 on June 24 will have to visit an Apple, AT&T, Best Buy, Radio Shack or Walmart store.

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

To express your thoughts on Computerworld content, visit Computerworld's Facebook page, LinkedIn page and Twitter stream.
Fix Windows 10 problems with these free Microsoft tools
Shop Tech Products at Amazon