Some iPhone 4 Customers Get Their New Toy a Little Early

Christmas comes this week for iPhone users as Apple launches the iPhone 4 on Thursday, June 24. For a lucky group, those who pre-ordered direct from Apple and had it sent to their homes rather than picking it from an AT&T or Apple store, their iPhone is going to arrive a day or two early.

Gadget and mobile phone blogs lit up late on Monday with reader reports that they had received notification from Apple their phone would arrive on Wednesday, June 23 via FedEx instead. Now there are additional reports of people getting their iPhone two days early. One of them was Sam Altman, president of iPhone developer Loopt.

There was a bit of confusion on blogs as to whether or not people could activate the phones. At least one person on MacRumors.com claims he did activate it. Others have said they could not. A spokesperson for AT&T said that people receiving their phones can indeed activate them when they arrive.

Apple did not respond to requests for comment.

The iPhone 4 is set to be Apple's biggest launch yet, with 600,000 units sold, the biggest pre-order ever, according to Apple. Apple and AT&T opened for pre-orders on June 15 and it turned into a mess, with AT&T servers failing, timing out, pulling incorrect customer data, making double orders and cancelling some orders.

AT&T announced the day after pre-orders opened that it was sold out due to demand being 10 times that of the prior phone, the iPhone 3GS. On Tuesday, AT&T announced that non-pre-order sales will begin on June 29 and come on a first-come, first-served basis. As inventory sells out, AT&T will offer to have the phone delivered to the customer.

The only possible reason behind releasing the phones early was so Apple could stagger the load of both delivery and activation, said Tim Bajarin, president of Creative Strategies.

"I think the logical explanation for anything coming early has more to do with easing the large amount of deliveries that are necessary to fulfill the orders by the 24th," he told InternetNews.com. "No one in the tech sector has had anything this big [in terms of orders]. They are kind of making it up as they go along."

Andy Patrizio is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.


iPhone, Apple, smartphone, AT&T, activation