Now Apple and partner AT&T may be resorting to a
unique tactic to solve their NYC woes – at least to those that are
looking to purchase the phones online. Customers made the
unpleasant discovery over the weekend. Looking for a bit of
iPhone Christmas cheer, they instead got a lump of coal in their
stocking from AT&T. Going online to purchase the phone,
they discovered that when they typed their zip code --11231 -- in the
order form, they received an error message saying the iPhone was
unavailable. Similar searches for zip codes in midtown, Staten
Island, the Bronx returned the same error. Next turning to
famous zip codes in other cities -- like 90210 -- they quickly
verified the ban appears to be for New York City only.
AT&T's service line, The Consumerist chatted
with a customer service rep named Daphne. The rep reportedly
commented, "I am happy to be helping you today . 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
The reporter inquired, "Thank you for your
help. So the phone is not available to people anywhere in the
The AT&T service rep. responded, "Yes
this is correct Laura."
AT&T released a cryptic
public relations-speak statement that seems to confirm that the phone
has been pulled indefinitely. Writes AT&T spokesperson
Fletcher Cook company in the statement, "We periodically modify
our promotions and distribution channels."
possible explanation for the surprise blockade on iPhone sales to NYC
is that it's a crude attempt by AT&T to block credit card fraud.
Some early reports indicated that AT&T was adopting the measure
to try to counteract high fraud rates in the city.
the reason for the online sales ban, we predict there will be a rush
on iPhones at the Apple store in NYC. After all, the ban
doesn't effect customers with existing iPhones -- it just prevents
customers in the Big Apple from buying new ones online.
Sales of the iPhone on NYC are now enabled again. AT&T still hasn't offered an explanation for the original shortage.