While we’re busy talking about e-readers like the Kindle and Apple’s Tablet, being the future of portable, multi-platform technology, we might also want to start digging under our couches for our old, non-smartphone. Because in response to data congestion of AT&T’s service for iPhones in New York City that has been going on all month, the phone company’s solution has reportedly been to stop selling the phone to New Yorkers.
According to one report, New Yorkers are just “not ready” for the iPhone, at least according to Apple’s on own tech support group, which Consumerist writer Laura Northrop called yesterday.
Here’s Northrup’s chat with the AT&T rep:
Daphne: Welcome to AT&T online Sales support. How may I assist you with placing your order today?
Laura: Hi, I was looking at the iPhone 3Gs and the system tells me that I cannot order one in my ZIP code. My zip code is 11231. (Brooklyn, NY) Is this true? Are iPhones no longer available in New York City?
Daphne: I am happy to be helping you today . Yes, this is correct the phone is not offered to you because New York is not ready for the iPhone.
Daphne: You don’t have enough towers to handle the phone.
Laura: Thank you for your help. So the phone is not available to people anywhere in the city?
Daphne: Yes this is correct Laura.
Then again, Peter Kafka of All Things D says that the reason new iPhones aren’t being sold online in NYC has nothing to do with data congestion and everything to do with fraud. You can still buy a new iPhone at retail stores and over the phone, but not online, he reports. Then again, that answer doesn’t really satisfy Kafka, who speculates, “If New York really is beset by a plague of scammers, why is AT&T selling other expensive smartphones, like Research In Motion’s (RIMM) BlackBerry line, over the Web?”
Whatever the issue is, it makes a strong case for buying yourself a Blackberry and chuckling to yourself as your friends try in vain to buy themselves the latest iPhone — and get it to work in New York.