NYC
03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

AT&T's New York iPhone Trouble: Company Refuses To Sell Smart Phone Online To NYC Customers (UPDATE)

UPDATE: The Associated Press now reports that AT&T has resumed selling the iPhone to New Yorkers:

NEW YORK - AT&T is resuming online sales of iPhones to New Yorkers after suspending them over the weekend for unclear reasons.

A spokesman said only that the phone company periodically "modifies" its distribution channels.

On AT&T Inc.'s Web site, buyers who supply New York City ZIP codes were told on Monday morning to "Please shop for another phone."

AT&T has acknowledged that its data network is overburdened with iPhone users in New York and San Francisco, sparking online speculation that the sales suspension is a means of managing traffic.

However, because the phones are still available in New York retail stores and from Apple Inc.'s Web site, the ban could instead be a way to curb fraudsters who buy phones and sell them on, reneging on the service contracts.

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AT&T is trying to keep would-be New York iPhone-owners from talking.

As Consumerist first reported, the phone company has banned sales of the Apple iPhone to metropolitan-area residents on its website.

Customers who attempt to order the phone from a zip code in the New York City, Westchester County, or New Jersey suburban areas receive a message saying, "Sorry this Package is not available in your area."

Checking on the veracity of the claims that this was only happening to local residents, blogger Laura Northrup called AT&T sales support and was told that "New York is not ready for the iPhone" by a company representative.

The same rep confirmed that the phone is "not available to people anywhere in the city."

Despite the unavailability of the phone on the AT&T website, New Yorkers still looking for an iPhone can still go to an Apple or AT&T store to purchase the smart phone.