AT&T Halts iPhone Online Distribution in New York

Dennis Faas's picture

AT&T has been the victim of mounting criticism from consumers, competitors and the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) regarding their ability to provide adequate service to wireless customers. However, their latest corporate decision may alienate thousands of people in the greater New York City area, while leaving millions of people around the world scratching their heads in confusion.

In a nutshell, AT&T has decided to intervene and stop consumers in New York City and the surrounding area from purchasing Apple iPhones online.

iPhone Cutoff Causes Alienation

There is no doubt that cutting off online sales of the iPhone in New York will alienate a significant portion of the American consumer base. Still, New York is internationally recognized as being on the cusp of social trends, therefore the iPhone online embargo is a mystery to say the least.

At this point, the only explanation from AT&T regarding the iPhone online ban is that "[AT&T] periodically [modifies their] promotion and distribution channels." Many are at a loss when interpreting this statement. (Source:

Critics "Right All Along"

Analysts are regarding this decision as proof that the critics were right all along. From the beginning, many people felt that the AT&T network could not handle the distribution of the iPhone and for the time being, it appears that these sentiments are true (at least, in New York).

Others feel that the iPhone is the driving force behind the success of AT&T. These people see AT&T as having little else to differentiate themselves or offer their customers aside from the iPhone.

Customers May Jump Ship to Other Providers

If the iPhone cannot live up to expectations due to limitations in AT&T's network, or if AT&T chooses to put a halt on online iPhone sales in an attempt to regulate data usage in high-population regions, potential consumers might decide to jump on board with a rival service provider. (Source:

It is important to remember that the iPhone can still be purchased in New York at an actual retail location, but online distribution is now -- at least, for the time being -- nonexistent.

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