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AT&T Says NYC is 'Not Ready' For the iPhone [UPD]

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 59 comments

AT&T says that NYC doesn't have enough towers to handle the iPhone.

Those if you in New York City trying to get an iPhone by ordering from AT&T online will know that it's just not possible right now. For one reason or another, those trying to buy online using a New York City zip code will find that the iPhone is not available in their area.

The Consumerist did some digging behind such claims and verified that AT&T has frozen online sales of the iPhone in NYC. (It does seem, however, that retail sales are continuing as normal.) The following is an online help desk conversation between the Consumerist's Laura Northrup and AT&T sales support:

Daphne: Welcome to AT&T online Sales support. How may I assist you with placing your order today?

Laura: Hi, I was looking at the iPhone 3Gs and the system tells me that I cannot order one in my ZIP code. My zip code is 11231. (Brooklyn, NY) Is this true? Are iPhones no longer available in New York City?

Daphne: 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.

Daphne: You don't have enough towers to handle the phone.

Laura: Thank you for your help. So the phone is not available to people anywhere in the city?

Daphne: Yes this is correct Laura.

This sort of news is startling in light of service complaints in U.S. cities such as NYC and San Francisco – where there are high concentrations of iPhone users.

AT&T responded by issuing the statement, "We periodically modify our promotions and distribution channels," which basically tells us nothing other than confirming that sales have indeed been frozen in NYC.

Update: it appears that New York City is once again ready for the iPhone, as online sales via AT&T's website are now possible again for those living in the city that never sleeps.

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Top Comments
  • 29 Hide
    logitic , December 28, 2009 1:33 PM
    I can't wait for the next Verizon commercial to talk about this one! lol
  • 14 Hide
    Hilarion , December 28, 2009 1:49 PM
    Wow! And this is one of the cities that they SAY they have great 3G coverage in...... Talk about shooting yourself in the foot! Way to go ATT! Soooo, I guess that means your commercials aren't really factual?
  • 13 Hide
    adaman2576 , December 28, 2009 1:42 PM
    I find it funny that people know that in NYC an iphone is worthless but, they still insist on having one anyway.
Other Comments
    Display all 59 comments.
  • 29 Hide
    logitic , December 28, 2009 1:33 PM
    I can't wait for the next Verizon commercial to talk about this one! lol
  • 13 Hide
    adaman2576 , December 28, 2009 1:42 PM
    I find it funny that people know that in NYC an iphone is worthless but, they still insist on having one anyway.
  • 7 Hide
    nicklasd87 , December 28, 2009 1:42 PM
    ugh...ATT needs to get its act together...It seems to me that ATT is trying to stall the market wrather than adapting to it...Being an ATT customer I am very hesitant about renewing my contract when it expires due to this assumption.
  • 7 Hide
    subliminalaffect , December 28, 2009 1:42 PM
    It's about time that att gets their just desserts by having their shady business practices and bloated, overpriced and underperforming services exposed. This company has been trash over the past decade and more and more of the public is waking up to this via verizon's help and their own self deterioration thanks to greed. God bless the Iphone!!!
  • 10 Hide
    atticus052 , December 28, 2009 1:43 PM
    "We're suing you Verison, we have great 3G coverage, oh but not for you New York."
  • 14 Hide
    Hilarion , December 28, 2009 1:49 PM
    Wow! And this is one of the cities that they SAY they have great 3G coverage in...... Talk about shooting yourself in the foot! Way to go ATT! Soooo, I guess that means your commercials aren't really factual?
  • 12 Hide
    bollwerk , December 28, 2009 1:50 PM
    The iphone is not worthless. AT&T is.
  • 0 Hide
    Glorian , December 28, 2009 1:53 PM
    The iphone would kill any network in high concentration cities filled with yuppies who feel they need to have the latest trend electronics. Even if AT&T was ready it is still amazing the amount of people who "need" this novelty.

    I also think they are taking "NY isn't ready" a bit too serious, because it is in fact AT&T that's not ready. It's like someone asking me if I finished building a house and I respond "no the house isn't ready" its not the house fault it's not built it's mine.
  • 2 Hide
    jjchmiel78 , December 28, 2009 2:00 PM
    I find it hilarious that ever since Verizon started a major advertising campaign against AT&T, that all AT&T seems to do is shoot themselves in the foot. They need new management yesterday, a new advertising agency now, and really start doing something. Keep shooting themselves in the foot at the pace they have since November and they won't have the business to worry about articles like this in a year or two. iPhone may be cool, but is not the magic wand to let AT&T get away with whatever they want and save their company.
  • 9 Hide
    sliem , December 28, 2009 2:05 PM
    There's a map for that
  • 7 Hide
    Abrahm , December 28, 2009 2:18 PM
    This is awesome. The more people AT&T pisses off, the more people that will see beyond the trendy glamor and move on to the superior android system.

    Let the rise of the android system to dominance commence!
  • 2 Hide
    jonathan1683 , December 28, 2009 2:21 PM
    I wish apple would allow other carriers to have to iphone to help carry the burden.
  • -4 Hide
    bydesign , December 28, 2009 2:21 PM
    It's NY isn't that state bankrupt anyway along with that other home of liberal nonsense.
  • 7 Hide
    gwellin , December 28, 2009 2:28 PM
    Actully if you pay attention to the AT&T commercials. They say they have coverage to over 98% of the people. That statement says nothing about 3G coverage. They are just saying 98% of people in the US have some cell phone coverage with AT&T. That is why verizon can get away with saying the have over 5x the 3G coverage.
  • 0 Hide
    captaincharisma , December 28, 2009 2:34 PM
    why would the biggest city in the USA have the fewest towers in the country? who has the most towers then? a small town in Alabama? and i'm sure it is elementary to everyone that the most iphone sales in the USA would be from new york.
  • 0 Hide
    captaincharisma , December 28, 2009 2:36 PM
    jonathan1683I wish apple would allow other carriers to have to iphone to help carry the burden.


    they already did it for Canada. every wireless carrier here sells the iphone now.
  • 0 Hide
    sunflier , December 28, 2009 2:39 PM
    Dang you El_Capitan!!! You stole my comment. +1 for you.
  • 7 Hide
    jerreece , December 28, 2009 2:41 PM
    This just in:

    "NYC says AT&T is not ready for the iPhone..."
  • 2 Hide
    jerreece , December 28, 2009 2:44 PM
    captaincharismawhy would the biggest city in the USA have the fewest towers in the country? who has the most towers then? a small town in Alabama? and i'm sure it is elementary to everyone that the most iphone sales in the USA would be from new york.


    When you have an area that is extremely densely populated, numerically you don't need as many "towers" to provide signal for the area. Plus they can put "towers" on top of buildings, so terrain and landscape aren't issues.

    Where as in more rural type cities, hills and mountains seem to get in the way. And since in other cities growth goes outward (as opposed to up and down) you have to provide more towers to cover the area. It would make sense to me if NYC didn't numerically have a lot of towers. They just have towers crammed with transmitters, etc.
  • 4 Hide
    mcshasta , December 28, 2009 2:56 PM
    The money for the towers went to Luke Wilson and the lawsuit against Verizon's truthful commercials. Oh the irony.....
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