Apple, AT&T Holding iPhone 4 Pre-Orders for Late Paying Customers

We've received emails from several iPhone customers, panicked over the possible loss of their yet-to-ship pre-ordered iPhone 4. These users have all received an email from Apple indicating that their pre-ordered iPhone 4, which was otherwise ready to ship, is being held by Apple based on instructions from AT&T. The letter instructs that Apple will attempt to reprocess the order daily for 7 days, at which time the order will be cancelled if the customer has not resolved the issue with AT&T.

The letter to customers reads:

When preparing your iPhone for shipment, we encountered an issue completing the AT&T account set up and have placed your order on hold. This could be for a number of reasons:

- You may have already purchased a phone or placed multiple orders for the same phone number.

- Your order may be on hold due to an issue with your AT&T account.

You can confirm your current AT&T eligibility status by entering your existing AT&T account information here. Please contact AT&T at 800-331-0500 or visit to resolve your issue. Once your issue is resolved, you should expect to receive a Shipment Notification email within 24 hours.

We'll continue to retry shipping your order for up to seven days. After seven days, your order will be canceled. We would like to apologize for any inconvenience this issue has caused.

As it turns out, the fault here is on the customer and not on AT&T, although AT&T is without question being heavy handed with their supposedy well-appreciated customers. Customers who were even 1 or 2 days late paying their latest AT&T Wireless bill when Apple attempted to ship their iPhone 4 have had their orders placed on hold.

This should serve as a warning to customers still waiting for their pre-ordered iPhone to ship, regardless of whether your order was placed with AT&T, Apple, or another of the authorized iPhone 4 retailers. If you want your iPhone 4 to ship on time, and avoid possible cancellation of your pre-order, make sure your AT&T Wireless bill is paid on time.


Well, they won't let you activate it anyway even one day late, I found that out.

We received that email on the evening of the 24th. The problem was that when we ordered on 6/15 @ 1am PDT the online Apple Store crashed 16 times. We had only one order with Apple but they had routed to AT&T for credit approval 16 times and there were 16 orders (AT&T called them accounts created) at AT&T. When AT&T removed 15 of them everything was OK. New ship date is this week. Don't blame the Customers for bad coordination between Apple and AT&T.