AT&T girds for iPhone launch on June 29
By Leslie Cauley, USA TODAY
For consumers eager to get their hands on an Apple iPhone, here's the
good news: It will be available in all 1,800 AT&T phone stores at 6
p.m. sharp on June 29.
The bad news? "We fully expect one or more of our stores to run out of
stock on the first or second day -- my guess is the first day," says
Larry Carter, senior vice president of sales for AT&T, the iPhone's
exclusive U.S. distributor.
To help accommodate as much foot traffic as possible, AT&T phone
stores will stay open an extra hour -- until 10 p.m. -- on the first
To get "iReady" for the big day, Carter says AT&T added 2,000 extra
sales people to stores. Half will be there just to help handle the
expected early crush of buyers. The other half, he says, will stay
long-term to help with extra customers the iPhone is expected to draw
to AT&T's stores.
Crowd control on launch day is a concern. In some markets -- Carter
declined to name them -- AT&T is working with local law enforcement on
crowd-control plans. It also has alerted landlords at shopping malls
and other phone store locations to make sure nobody is caught off
[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: So, this is the start of iPhone launch
countdown week. I am sure the Digest will be bombarded all this next
week with glorious messages from AT&T discussing this 'wonderful' new
device. In fact, the first half-dozen or so messages in today's issue
talk about the wonders of iPhone. But what _I_ suspect will occur, and
this is just IMO, and what we will actually see, is the way John Mayson
describes it in the last message in this series today. Maybe I should
have moved it over to the final space as a 'Last Laugh!' message ...