After coming up empty handed last Friday, I returned to an AT&T (NYSE: T) store early Saturday morning to give it another go. By 8:30 a.m. there was a line of about 25 strong waiting for their chance to shell out cash in this down economy for the new iPhone. Activation issues kept sales at a standstill for hours as the line moved at glacial speed. I was already kicking myself for not grabbing the first spot in line at 7:30 a.m. when I first drove by, but I didn’t want to be the only geek waiting out front when AT&T opened its doors. There’s strength in numbers and I was determined to not go through this alone. On Friday, the more expensive 16 gigabit models were the first to sell, leaving those further back in line with the choice of getting the 8 gigabit model or the white 16 gigabit model. On Saturday, sales went the other way. After about 15 people got through the store, an AT&T manager told us the 8 gigabit model was sold out for the day. I finally got inside around 11 a.m. and after a few activation holdups, the representative was able to get my iPhone activated.
(Published at mocoNews.net)
During the sale, he told me there was an argument between employees inside the store on Friday about all the iPhones still in stock that the store wasn’t allowed to sell on the first day. And that jives well with numerous reports that claim AT&T stores were directed to sell a limited number of devices each day even though their backrooms were stocked with more. AT&T didn’t respond to calls for comment. Still, with all the activation problems and long lines, Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) sold more than 1 million iPhones before Monday.