No iPhone 3G for me this month:
Not that I am missing TOO much. After all, (nice but still buggy) Firmware 2.0 brought most of the feature enhancements of iPhone 3G to the old iPhone (except GPS, which is somewhat pointless without navigation) and faster speeds (though how much faster remains to be seen).
The kicker for me though is the arrogance that Apple and at&t show to their loyal customers. Not only have I seen looooong lines everywhere the last couple of days. But no. Apparently Apple/at&t are not willing to sell to me. Period.
Some background info: I am on at&t’s ‘Premier’ discount for Stanford. Essentially you get a 15% discount on your bill. Now, I even forgot I was on that – considering – well – that I haven’t gotten ANY discount the last year or so (‘Sorry iPhone is ineligible’). Now that I am still technically on this ‘discounted’ contract though, at&t corporate stores are the only places I am allowed to buy the new iPhone 3G at. Apple will not sell to me (‘sorry – no Premier contracts. It’s an at&t rule.’), while at&t continues to treat it’s customers like crap. I have been to three stores today. What I heard was:
– Store A in Palo Alto: No reply. I stood there 10 mins without anyone bothering to talk to me. Then when I asked a store clerk who passed by he said: ‘oh we got only 9 devices in. They are all sold’. 9 devices. Btw – this store was the highest grossing at&t store in the country in 2006/07!
– Store in Belmont: Wouldn’t even let me into the store. ‘Sorry no devices. You can pay NOW and then come back to the store in 10 business days to pick it up’. Same story at store 3.
Now, I am moving in 12 days (9 business days) and the fact is:
– Apple is not willing to sell to me even though they have plenty of devices in stock
– at&t is not able to sell to me directly, only by order and PICKUP instore
– I have to be physically at the store I ordered the phone in (i.e. I can’t order in LA now as I am not in town yet, and I can’t order in SF as I will be in LA by the time the devices get here)
– No mail order. Period. You HAVE to be PHYSICALLY at the store even though they don’t actually HAVE any ACTUAL phones to sell to you.
So – no iPhone 3G for me. No $300 for Apple, no $375 for at&t (the ridiculous $15/month price increase over 24 months). For some odd reason, I don’t feel so bad about this now.