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Apple's iPhone and NYC -- no longer a match made in heaven: Apple and patner AT&T have reportedly suspended all online iPhone sales to the city. Possible explanations include that the ban is to fight fraud or, according to an AT&T service rep, that its due to the telecom's poor coverage in NYC.  (Source: Cult of Mac)
Customers are reporting that the iPhone is no longer available for NYC zip codes

Although there have been reports of high dropped call rates for the Apple iPhone, a spokesperson for the company has contacted DailyTech on multiple occasions insisting that these reports are patently false and its partners at Apple are wrong.  Unfortunately, to date, our contact at the company has been unable to provide any sort of information on their metrics on dropped call rates in the NYC or New York state to help us verify these claims.  That said, it seems relatively obvious that the nation's second largest carrier has struggled of late as it has cut its 2009 capital spending, limiting vital infrastructure upgrades.

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.

Calling 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 phone."

The reporter inquired, "Thank you for your help. So the phone is not available to people anywhere in the city?"

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."

Another 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.

Whatever 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.

Updated 12/28/2009
Sales of the iPhone on NYC are now enabled again. AT&T still hasn't offered an explanation for the original shortage.



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No Excuse!
By StevoLincolnite on 12/28/2009 10:03:41 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
"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 phone."


Well then, you have had PLENTY of time to see that the network load in the area was increasing, why not DO something about it before it got THAT bad instead of making your CUSTOMERS suffer?

That's absolutely pathetic, I don't live in the USA, however I'm glad I have Telstra, although they are expensive they have the largest 3G network in the world in terms of land coverage and one of the fastest to, never ever had a dropped call or speeds below 5mbps in my local area. (Sometimes it peaks to around 15mbps.)

How is AT&T getting away with this anyway? Is the iPhone really THAT good to have to put up with the massive network congestion and dropped calls?




RE: No Excuse!
By Omega215D on 12/28/2009 12:54:33 PM , Rating: 3
AT&T is talking absolute cr@p. Just walk down along Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens etc. and you'll see on the tops buildings covered in cell towers. When I had T-Mobile the coverage in my area was decent, the switch to Cingular proved to be much better until AT&T came and bought it up and I experienced a few problems which then grew but still had decent coverage. I moved to Verizon just to test it out for 30 days and ended up staying because I was able to get service in areas I had expected not to. I do pay a bit more for the service but it's seriously worth it for being able to make and complete a call without static or other interference.


RE: No Excuse!
By daemonios on 12/29/2009 1:46:05 PM , Rating: 2
Hm... Maybe it's because buildings in NY are too tall and signal doesn't reach the ground? Hehehe.

Seriously though, I think it's amazing that the assistant says *you* (as in "you New Yorkers") don't have enough towers. At least she could have assumed the issue and sais *we* (as in AT&T) don't have enough towers for the iPhone.


RE: No Excuse!
By yomamafor1 on 12/28/2009 2:08:34 PM , Rating: 5
I think it should be the other way around, "AT&T is not ready for New York", not "New York is not ready for iPhone". Sounds more like they're trying to vindicate themselves by blaming it on the city.

This is all very pathetic really. Are you telling me that one of the largest wireless carriers in the states cannot provide adequate service to the people who lives in the largest city in the states?


RE: No Excuse!
By mcnabney on 12/29/2009 4:55:26 PM , Rating: 2
If you had been paying attention to news coverage of AT&T and the iPhone in the past three months you would know that the network that AT&T operates in NYC (and other large metro areas) is inadequate to current usage.

Which is funny, because the areas that have 3G coverage are overcongested while most of the nation doesn't receive 3G coverage from AT&T at all.


RE: No Excuse!
By marvdmartian on 12/29/2009 11:39:31 AM , Rating: 2
Tech Reporter: "Sir, can you explain to us why AT&T is no longer willing to sell iPhones in NY City?"
AT&T PR Rep: "Gosh, I hadn't heard about that! Hold on, let me use my iPhone to call headquarters, and find out an answer for you...."
Tech Reporter: (patiently waiting)
AT&T PR Rep: "It'll be just a minute here..."
Tech Reporter: (still patiently waiting)
AT&T PR Rep: "Just another moment....."
Tech Reporter: "Um.....sir......any answer to our question?"
AT&T PR Rep: "Hold on......my call keeps getting dropped! Darn service here sucks! Um....I mean.....hold on!!!....."


RE: No Excuse!
By Motoman on 12/29/2009 12:16:09 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
How is AT&T getting away with this anyway? Is the iPhone really THAT good to have to put up with the massive network congestion and dropped calls?


No. But it's an Apple product, and the TV says I need one, and all the cool people have one, and since I have not the slightest ability to think for myself I need to buy one.


RE: No Excuse!
By fox12789 on 12/30/09, Rating: 0
RE: No Excuse!
By fox12789 on 12/30/09, Rating: 0
It's time for Verizon to take over
By Rob94hawk on 12/28/2009 12:08:54 PM , Rating: 4
AT&T is too incompetent to handle a product such as this. It's time for Verizon to take over.




RE: It's time for Verizon to take over
By tastyratz on 12/28/09, Rating: 0
RE: It's time for Verizon to take over
By lelias2k on 12/28/2009 2:00:14 PM , Rating: 4
I believe he meant take over distributing the iPhone.

I don't think there's anyone arguing that AT&T is a better service. Besides Luke Wilson, of course... :p


RE: It's time for Verizon to take over
By chick0n on 12/28/2009 2:00:59 PM , Rating: 2
Cingular/AT&T has been a piece of sh-it even before iPhone came out. So it has nothing to do with iPhone, their service is simply garbage.

Every fuxking time I saw that "raising the bar" commercial, I just said "Raising the drop calls bar."


RE: It's time for Verizon to take over
By nuarbnellaffej on 12/29/2009 12:27:27 AM , Rating: 2
I don't have a smartphone, so 3g isn't important to me, and at&t is just about the only provider that has any coverage in my area, which is the middle of no where.

So for me, at&t's service is just fine, though I have to admit, I HATE the commercials they are combating Verizon with. They are WAY more misleading that the Verizon ones(which aren't at all), which is funny considering at&t sued them for that.


By Gwoben on 12/29/2009 4:19:55 PM , Rating: 2
I have an iPhone and it works just fine in my area (central MA). Switched from Verizon 3 years ago because signal level was too low in my house and calls were dropped all the time. In my travels to NYC I never had my iPhone calls dropped, but I did get interruptions for a few seconds a few times. Kind of hard to believe in 30% dropped calls numbers, but maybe that particular area has better coverage (uptown Manhattan). Would be interesting to hear about actual NYC citizen experience and not just random AT&/T/Apple/whatever haters.


So play with someone else!!
By Pffffft on 12/28/2009 10:30:58 AM , Rating: 5
Jeez people... if you can count to four and read at a 4th grade level you can unlock an iPhone in 20 minutes or less. I've done it at least 50 times and always told the person I was helping out to contact me if they ever have a problem. Nothing. Not one call. It's easy to spot the AT&T users in my office. They are all standing outside talking on their cell regardless of weather. Of course that's because their cell phones won't work INSIDE the building. Why would anybody use AT&T?? It's like wearing an idiot sticker on your forehead.




RE: So play with someone else!!
By Camikazi on 12/28/2009 10:35:31 AM , Rating: 1
Some people don't wanna unlock iPhones thinking they will have the cops at their door the next day :/ I'm being serious too, scared to death to do it.


hmmm....
By sprockkets on 12/28/2009 12:55:25 PM , Rating: 4
Maybe they suspended the iphone due to trademark issues with NY City...




It sure doesn't effect it
By jboy21ar on 12/29/2009 4:16:23 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
After all, the ban doesn't effect customers with existing iPhones


Affect
Affect with an a means "to influence," as in, "The arrows affected Ardvark," or "The rain affected Amy's hairdo." Affect can also mean, roughly, "to act in a way that you don't feel," as in, "She affected an air of superiority."
Effect
Effect with an e has a lot of subtle meanings as a noun, but to me the meaning "a result" seems to be at the core of all the definitions. For example, you can say, "The effect was eye-popping," or "The sound effects were amazing," or "The rain had no effect on Amy's hairdo."

Even as English as my second language, that doesn't sound right...

Source: http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/affect-versus...




Can ya' spare a dime?
By chagrinnin on 12/29/2009 6:46:17 AM , Rating: 3
I'd like to call them up on my iPhone and give them a piece of my mind,...but I'm in Manhattan right now....:(




By skaaman on 12/28/2009 9:58:50 AM , Rating: 2
Can you buy me now? Good!




I thought...
By CZroe on 12/28/2009 10:34:51 AM , Rating: 2
I thought it was just this weekend's $50 iPhone 3GS refurb that wasn't available in NYC.




Those map comercials ARE true.
By pjs on 12/28/2009 2:00:09 PM , Rating: 2
This is AT&ts way of admitting it!




Really?
By uberspeedo on 12/28/2009 2:56:56 PM , Rating: 2
As someone who's unfortunate enough to work with AT&T customer support, I can tell you that that rep had no idea what the answer to the question was. They BS'd an answer, and happened to say something stupid that made someone's blog. When you have thousands of CSR's talking to tens of thousands of customers every day, it happens (and I've seen people tell customers things much worse than that).

Despite the fact that AT&T supplies my paycheck I'm not a big fan of the company or their service. But trying to make out like this some official acknowledgment that AT&T is overwhelmed and giving up in NYC is just stupid.




Oh reary jason..
By meepstone on 12/30/2009 8:29:48 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Although there have been reports of high dropped call rates for the Apple iPhone


You don't say for the 7th time...

Your not going to fool us in that you aren't rinsinga nd repeating the same information just because you left out the "30% drop rate" in that sentence.




*yawn*
By cmdrdredd on 12/28/2009 4:52:06 PM , Rating: 1
More AT&T hate. It's as bad as watching Tiger Woods info on the news for 30minutes every day for 2 weeks.




Just wait until
By corduroygt on 12/28/09, Rating: -1
RE: Just wait until
By NCLI on 12/28/2009 10:15:18 AM , Rating: 5
As someone who has lived with "government sponsored healthcare" for his entire life, I can tell you that you are absolutely wrong.

Anyway, what does that have to do with this news? AT&T is a private company for crying out loud!


RE: Just wait until
By Brutus1234 on 12/28/2009 10:20:38 AM , Rating: 3
Clearly, your non-government run health care system has failed you as you are in dire need of psychiatric help.

This is a tech forum and a discussion of an IPhone. Introducing health care politics into this discussion is clearly a symptom of dimentia. Too bad you probably can't afford the cost of care.


RE: Just wait until
By mdogs444 on 12/28/2009 10:25:57 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Too bad you probably can't afford the cost of care.

If that were the case, he'd want health care reform so he can have it for free (paid for by someone else).


RE: Just wait until
By Uncle on 12/28/09, Rating: 0
RE: Just wait until
By Nfarce on 12/28/2009 2:43:11 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
10% of the richest own 80%


So what's your point? The richest 20% pays 80% of all the federal income taxes taken in by the IRS by households and individuals. Besides, your Marxist thoughts and beliefs don't belong on this topic about AT&T continuing to prove themselves idiots.


RE: Just wait until
By Fallen Kell on 12/29/2009 4:51:52 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The richest 20% pays 80% of all the federal income taxes taken in by the IRS by households and individuals.


NFarce is correct on this one (or close enough that it doesn't matter). The IRS has put their tax statistics online. While the last year available is 2007, you can at least see that top 20% of all people who filed their income taxes accounted for just under 80% of the total taxes received by the IRS (you need to do the math to figure out what the top 20% includes and then sum the values of the "Percentage of Total" column for the top 20% to figure show this number, but all the required data is published and available to let you see this).

Now as to whether this system is fair or not, I don't know. I personally feel the tax code is way to complicated with all kinds of loop-holes and exceptions. I think the tax system should be able to be described in its entirety by a 50-100 page document, not the 17,000+ pages it has been for the last 20 years (and at one point being 54,846 pages!!!!).

Back on topic... AT&T needs to get their act together. I am sorry to say this, but you would think with the 2 year contract and required plan for the iPhone users that AT&T would have been taking out infrastructure loans to build their network for more capacity in the areas that the iPhone users were located... I mean, they know they are going to get $X each month for 2 years for each of those customers (and really longer for the majority of people since most people don't know technology and how it works or how to do something like unlock or jailbreak a phone).


RE: Just wait until
By ChristineRN on 12/28/09, Rating: -1
RE: Just wait until
By neogrin on 12/28/2009 12:27:05 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, because mis-spelling a word by one letter is clearly a sign of no education and a lack of research.

Please see the Wikipedia entry for Hubris: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hubris

quote:
Hubris can manifest itself in many ways in the modern world. For example, a contributor to a forum on slander makes a simple spelling mistake which...

Such examples are often described in the online world as "fails".


Get the stick out of your ass ChristineRN (If that RN in your name indicates you are a nurse, I pity your patents)


RE: Just wait until
By chick0n on 12/28/2009 2:06:30 PM , Rating: 1
Wow, lmao, look whos talking.

Do you understand this then ?

How about a shut the f-uck up? b-itch ?


RE: Just wait until
By x26 on 12/28/2009 4:18:41 PM , Rating: 2
Please report to the Nearest .gov re-education camp...


RE: Just wait until
By yomamafor1 on 12/28/2009 2:35:31 PM , Rating: 2
First of all, you're off topic.

Secondly, you're wrong. I've also grew up in a country where Universal Health Care is well established, and nothing like you claimed ever happened.


RE: Just wait until
By piroroadkill on 12/29/2009 5:08:31 AM , Rating: 1
Hahahaha...

hahahaha..

You are the one that needs to seek help


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