Unfortunately for me and many existing customers, because of my (our) existing account type, Apple's requirement that all phone be activated at the time of sale, and Apple inability to access activate many types of existing AT&T accounts, I can only get the iPhone from an AT&T store.
Which have all be sold out since the morning the thing went on sale.
A week later, AT&T started taking pre-orders. Or rather, pre-sales. You have to physically visit an AT&T store, and pre-pay for the phone. When the next shipment gets in, you get one of those (although some are calling it direct-ship, but I don't think the fulfillment chain is shipping iPhones one at a time).
So I did that last week. Ponied up the $330 and began to wait.
The Cult of Mac reported this today:
AT&T has authorized stores in its Northern California region to begin taking iPhone pre-sale orders with a promise of 72hr availability, according to the manager of one of the region’s busiest stores. In an email sent to store managers this morning, the wireless carrier said stores could promise customers they would have a phone in 3 days if they sign up for new service or upgrade their eligible hardware in-store and pass the requisite credit checks to establish a new two year service contract. Customers get a call from the store in three days when their phone arrives and are required to return to the store to complete service activation and pick up the handset.So I called my local "Northern California" store. The clerk knew nothing about this. Neither did the manager. Pre-order sales were estimated to arrive in 20 to 30 days. A far cry from the announced 72 hours.
The first clerk checked the status of my pre-order, which is listed in the system as "pending." No one could tell me what "pending" meant. Ultimately, a manager guessed that it means that the iPhone hasn't shipped yet.
But with all of the reported glitches in the iPhone 2.0 update anyway, I'm okay waiting for the 2.1 fixes to be released.
Image from Cult of Mac and Top Muffin, which I think is genius.