Expecting to take some time on Thursday to drop in at an AT&T Store and pick up the newly shipping iPhone 4? Better maker alternative plans.
That’s the word straight from AT&T, which said on Tuesday that its stores won’t be able to sell new iPhones to customers who haven’t already placed orders for the iPhone 4. In fact, AT&T doesn’t expect to sell the iPhone 4 to walk-up customers until June 29.
According to the company, AT&T retail stores will not have stock for walk-in purchases at launch; instead, the carrier will focus on patrons who have pre-ordered their iPhones with the intention of picking them up in person. Company representatives will apparently call these customers as their handsets become available at their AT&T point of sale of choice. Those who chose home delivery, meanwhile, should start receiving their devices sometimes this week.
AT&T’s press release cautions that device availability on June 29 may be limited and that walk-in customers will be handled on a first-come, first-serve basis. Those who miss out on in-store availability will be given the option of placing an order for home delivery instead.
As iPhone 4 handsets start reaching customers who chose courier delivery and the official availability date of June 24 approaches, the number of places where the device will be available for purchase without a pre-order has dwindled to Apple’s own retail locations, Best Buy, Radio Shack and Wal-Mart, all of which have warned that their will be limited at launch.