In a report we filed yesterday, entitled Apple iPhone June 29th 6pm Release Seeming More Legit we remarked on how unimaginable it would be for AT&T stores to spend the day allowing their locations to fill up with frenzied iPhone fans as the 6pm sale time neared. Though scattered reports have emerged stating that certain AT&T locations will start selling the iPhone as soon as they open for business, new information out of the Boy Genius Report indicates that most AT&T stores will actually be shutting their doors at 4:30pm and reopening at 6:00pm for the iPhone launch. Any customers in the store at 4:30 will be asked to leave.
Besides preventing an in-store rampage as the clock nears six, AT&T will use this time to set up their in store displays (also previously about reported via the BGR and detailed here) for the iPhone. AT&T stores will then stay open late, perhaps as late as midnight, to sell the iPhone.
Apple's retail outlets, it appears, will be employing a similar philosophy. In a survey of 10 Apple retail locations performed by iPhoneFAQ, 8 indicated that they would be closing early (the other two locations simply said they did not know). The details on what time were a little spottier. Three stores indicated that they would be mirroring AT&T's 4:30 closing time, two indicated that they were closing an hour prior to launch (5pm), and the others were not sure or would not say how early they'd be initiating their temporary shutdown on the 29th.